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Slow start costs us at All England Open, says Lane

Lane and Vendy lost to the Japanese sixth seeds
Lane and Vendy lost to the Japanese sixth seeds (Yves Lacroix/BADMINTONPHOTO)

By Milly McEvoy in Birmingham.

Ben Lane bemoaned a slow start as he and Sean Vendy lost in the men’s doubles first round at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships.

Lane and Vendy lost the opening game to Japanese sixth seeds Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi 21-9.

They fought back valiantly in the second and were in touching distance of a decider before losing 21-19.

"We started off pretty slow, they started off fast in the first game and we just weren't really up to speed,” he said.

“And then the second game we came out really good, gave ourselves chances to win the game but we missed a few shots.

“All England is a massive goal every single year and it's obviously disappointing losing, I think we're playing good stuff.

“We’ve played a lot like a lot of good badminton and maybe we didn't start off well in that match.

“If we started off a little bit better, we could have changed things round a bit earlier.

“I think we're playing well, it's been a tough year, we've had very, very tough matches at the start of the year.

“It's not been easy, but no match at this level is easy we’ve got to reflect on this and take a bit of time for what is next.”

Lane and Vendy will head to the Swiss Open next week before the Spain Masters and European Championships.

All of the matches before the end of April mark chances to gain ranking points in the race to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

The pair are hopeful of a spot at a second Games, but Lane has said that neither he nor Vendy are looking too far ahead.

He added: “It is the first real Olympic qualifying we've done because the last one was interrupted by COVID and it was a bit all over the place.

“But this year has been a full year. Personally, I've just looked at it like any other year, just going in to play the tournament that you're at and not looking too far ahead at the Olympics.

“It's obviously a massive goal, everyone wants to go and play there and do well there.

“But for us, we've got lots of goals on the way that we have to focus on first.”

Be part of All The Action at the All England. Tickets are still available at allenglandbadminton.com. Can’t be in Birmingham this week? You can still see badminton's most prestigious tournament play out on BBC Sport and TNT Sports. Don’t miss a minute!