Bedford badminton star Gail Emms got her badminton ‘comeback’ off to a winning start at the English National Badminton Championships in Milton Keynes Friday
The 36-year-old 2004 Olympic silver medallist and former world, European and Commonwealth champion teamed up with last year’s mixed doubles runner-up Marcus Ellis to defeat Ben Stawski and Alex Langley in their second-round contest after an opening bye.
But their performance was not without a minor hiccup at the start. Ellis and Emms let slip the opening game as she looked a little rusty before settling down and turning things round as she and her partner triumphed 13-21 21-10 21-6.
Emms, who won the mixed doubles title six times with three different partners before retiring after the 2008 Olympics, will now face 2012 champions and the world’s fifth-ranked pair in Chris and Gabby Adcock at the arena:stadiumMK today for the quarter and semi-final stages.
The Hong Kong Open winners began their bid to reclaim the title by beating Conor Bambrick and 2009 women’s doubles champion Suzanne Rayappan 21-9 21-19 despite trailing 16-13 in the second.
They are bidding to become the first married winners since David and Jenny Horton in 1967.
Six times champion Emms was back in action last night in one of the last matches on the schedule when she and three-time former women’s doubles champion Ella Tripp beat Alexandra Langley and Helena Lewczynska 21-17 21-19 in the second round to set up a quarter-final tie with seconds seeds Gabrielle Adcock and Lauren Smith.