Ben Lane hopes tough opening round will boost Commonwealth chances

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Ben Lane hopes tough opening round will boost Commonwealth chances
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Kingston badminton star Ben Lane believes he and doubles partner Sean Vendy will be better off for having come through a tough first-round match at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Lane and Vendy beat Canadian duo Adam Dong and Nyl Kiyoshi Yakura 2-0 (21-13, 21-19) to book a place in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

The home duo was made to work for their win on the show court at the NEC, but Lane feels the battle will leave them hardened for future matches.

“It’s great to play a tough match,” said Lane, “You just must beat whoever is in front of you, you can’t hope for a good draw.

“If you want to win you’ve got to beat everyone.

“They played very well, got to give credit to them. Conditions are slow out there which makes it hard to put the attack on the floor.

“They have a strong defence, probably the strongest part of their game, and we struggled out there.

“We managed to claw it back, so credit to us.”

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.

The pair took a comfortable first game 21-13 before being pushed all the way in the second, with the Canadians at one point looking set to take it to a third.

But the home duo kept their nerve to see out the second game and seal progression.

Lane and Vendy were roared on by a vociferous home crowd, and 26-year-old Vendy is hoping to enjoy every single moment of a home Commonwealth Games.

“We’re taking all this in,” said Vendy.

“We don’t really get that many spectators around one court, unless you’re in the final of a big tournament so every time we step out, we’re cherishing the moment, making the most of it.

“We’re just trying to grow the sport and I think we’re doing a good job of it.”

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