Exmouth badminton player aims for Glasgow glory

PUBLISHED: 10:09 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:09 22 November 2017

Ben Lane and Jess Pugh are competing in the Scottish Open Grand Prix, in Glasgow.

Ben Lane and Jess Pugh are competing in the Scottish Open Grand Prix, in Glasgow.

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EXMOUTH badminton ace Ben Lane will keep a cool head in his bid for Scottish Open Grand Prix glory, according to mixed doubles partner Jess Pugh, writes Becky Grey, of Sportsbeat.

The pair go into the tournament seeded third and could well come away with the biggest win of their career after an impressive run in recent months.

Lane and Pugh have reached two international semi-finals this year, and defeated world number 11 pair Tse Ying Suet and Tang Chun Man to reach the French Open quarter-finals last month.

That result marked their furthest run at a Superseries tournament to date, playing alongside the crème de la crème of world badminton.

Much of this could be down to how well the duo complement each other on court, and Pugh believes this could help them reach new highs at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

“Ben is really good to train and play with,” she said. “He’s a very calm, laid-back player.

“He’s very easy to talk to and he doesn’t get stressed so he’s good at bringing you back down if you’re a bit stressed on court or in training.

“Winning the Scottish Open would be the best result of our career so far, winning a Grand Prix is hard and not many people can do that so it would be amazing to have that to our names.

“We are never going in expecting high things, we’ll just take every game as it comes like we do in any other tournament.”

Aged just 20, Lane and Pugh have enjoyed a remarkable season – kickstarted with a confidence-boosting semi-final finish at the YONEX US Open in July.

The only way has been up for the young shuttlers since then and Pugh admits they have been on a steep learning curve.

“We’re coming into our stride and we’ve had some really good wins over good pairings,” she added.

“It’s about getting the consistency to do it more of the time, but we’re developing and our game’s getting a lot better.

“There’s always going to be better days than others but that’s the same for everyone.”

The Scottish Open Grand Prix is being hosted at the Emirates Arena by BADMINTONscotland with support from Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. Tickets are on sale at www.badmintonscotland.org.uk or at the Emirates Arena box office.

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