Exmouth’s Ben Lane crashes out of the Yonex All England Badminton Championships at the first hurdle

PUBLISHED: 15:52 16 March 2020 | UPDATED: 20:43 16 March 2020

Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in action. Picture RAPHAEL SACHETAT

Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in action. Picture RAPHAEL SACHETAT


Exmouth badminton ace Ben Lane lamented his and men’s doubles partner Sean Vendy’s slow start after they crashed out of the Yonex All England Badminton Championships at the first hurdle, writes Will Jennings.

Lane and Vendy succumbed to a disappointing 21-14, 21-12 defeat against sixth seeds Yuta Watanabe and Hiroyuki Endo, dashing his and Vendy’s hopes of home glory in front of a partisan Arena Birmingham crowd.

It’s been a mixed year for the pair who are ranked 32 in terms of the world rankings for men’s doubles.

They won the Kharkiv and Belgian International competitions in 2019, but struggled to progress past the first round at the Malaysia and Indonesia Masters at the start of 2020.

And after being denied local success in the only major tournament to take place in England, Lane said their failure to come out of the blocks quickly cost them dear in the Midlands.

“We made too many easy mistakes at the start of the first game and throughout most of the match really, and against a pair like that you can never beat them if you do that,” he said.

“We knew it was always going to be a hard match given where they were seeded, and we knew they were going to be a really tough pair to play against in a slow hall because they’ve got a really tough defence.

“Our preparations have been good for the tournament - we’ve had lots of training recently and lots of matches.

“But it’s obviously really disappointing when you lose, but at the end of the day they were better than us out there.”

Japanese pair Endo and Watanabe simply had too much class for the unseeded home favourites, with Endo showing just why he is a three-time runner-up at the competition in a polished two-game performance.

But despite their disappointment, Lane - whose mother Suzanne and brother Alex have both represented England at the same sport - said that he and his partner always enjoy playing at their most prestigious local event.

“Of course, it’s always an experience I’ll enjoy playing here - it’s amazing playing in England, and this is the only tournament we really get to play where the crowds all come and we’ve got our families here,” he added.

“We’ve got a quite a busy schedule coming up now - it never stops really and there are just loads of tournaments, so it’s a really busy schedule.”

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