Chloe Birch is ready for badminton's bright future

·2 min read
Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith are in action for Team England for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Chloe Birch is hoping badminton can ride the wave of the 2022 Games and bring badminton to the next generation with her performances in Birmingham.

Birch and doubles partner Lauren Smith beat Malaysia’s Yee See Cheah and Pei Jing Lai to book a place in the last eight on a raucous Friday evening at the NEC in Birmingham.

The duo were roared on to victory by a packed out audience on the show court, and the 26-year-old from Preston believes it could be the start of something bigger.

“The crowd has been amazing,” said Birch. “Towards the end I was getting goosebumps with every point we won they were so loud.

“To have this show court, to show badminton at its best, has been amazing.

“With every single point, even when the rally wasn’t even over they were willing us to get the shot back. They really got behind us.

“There’s already so much talk behind the scenes of how amazing this has been and how good the crowd interaction is, and how many fans we’ve got in the stadium.

“I really hope this is the start of something for badminton in England and we can really start to have more of these showcase courts and show what badminton really is.

“There were so many young people out there today, I hope I inspire them to pick up a racket, kick a ball, anything to do with sport.”

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

It was certainly a performance to be inspired by, as the pair produced an impressive performance to get past a tough Malaysian duo.

And with a medal match in sight, Birch is hoping to take their form into the final few days of the Games.

“A big goal for us heading into these Games was to medal but you can never look too far ahead,” added Birch.

“With the draw we had, we knew it would be tough from the get go so we’re not taking anything for granted.

“Upsets can happen in the Commonwealth Games, we’ll focus on ourselves and look forward to tomorrow.”

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