Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith breeze into badminton last eight

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Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith breeze into badminton last eight
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Sweet dreams are made of gold medals for Marcus Ellis, and there would be few to disagree after the Huddersfield shuttler breezed into the last eight of the mixed doubles with Lauren Smith.

Ellis and Smith made light work of Uganda’s Daniel Wanagaliya and Husina Kobugabe, dispatching the duo 21-5, 21-7 to book a tie against Sri Lanka’s Sachin Dias and Thilin Hendahewa at Saturday lunchtime.

It was a confident performance from the couple, and Ellis will be hoping to recreate more of the same as he looks to add to his three Commonwealth medals from 2018.

“I’ve thought about winning the gold out there, it would be a special moment, but there’s a lot of work to do before we get to that point,” said Ellis.

“When we’re playing how we want to play, we know we can take on anybody here and have a good chance. If we can stay in that frame of mind, the performances will come.

“We wanted to try and be as clinical as possible and we were today.

“Hopefully we can go on court in a similarly relaxed state tomorrow and play some good stuff.”

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

Clinical was certainly the way to describe the duo’s performance, with the Ugandans given no room for error by the 2018 silver medallists.

They played out in front of a once more deafening crowd at the NEC, and Smith is enjoying playing in such a good atmosphere.

“No matter what’s going on in the game, it’s such a lift being in there,” said Smith.

“We’ve grown every time we’ve stepped on court. Commonwealths is one of those few events where you can lose a game and still have another match.

“It was a good, efficient job. We played how we wanted to play, stayed solid in the basic areas and came out with the win.”

And Smith will be hoping to add the gold medal that her Commonwealth collection is missing, having won three silvers and two bronzes at the previous two Games.

“You always come here for a medal, we want to do that for Team England,” added Smith.

“We know we can achieve that but there’s a lot of tough opposition out there.

“We have to make sure we stay focused and do the best we can.”

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