Posted on 28th June 2021
The British Olympic Association (BOA) has today named the seven players who will compete at the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as the badminton squad is announced.
Lauren Smith and returning Olympic medallist Marcus Ellis earn an automatic qualification place in the mixed doubles after finishing in eighth spot on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Race to Tokyo rankings.
The pair climbed the world rankings during the Olympic qualification period, having reached the semi-finals of the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships earlier this year.
Men’s singles player, Toby Penty will make his Olympic debut alongside Chloe Birch who pairs up with Smith for the women’s doubles.
Birch will head to her first Games having enjoyed some superb recent victories with a notable silver medal at the 2019 European Games spearheading their campaign.
Left-handed Penty secured his men’s singles spot, finishing 52nd in the world rankings and 23rd in the BWF Race to Tokyo rankings.
Women’s singles’ Kirsty Gilmour will compete in her second Olympic Games following her debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Gilmour qualified for Tokyo as number 26 in the BWF world rankings and 18th in the BWF Race to Tokyo rankings.
Completing the line-up is men’s doubles pair Ben Lane and Sean Vendy who qualified by virtue of their impressive performances on the BWF World Tour in January this year, becoming the first English men’s double pair to reach the semi-finals of a World Tour event. Ranked 25th in the world, they then went on to win the Orleans Masters event two months later.
Team GB Chef de Mission for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Mark England, commented: “It is a great honour to be able to confirm such a strong team of athletes to represent Great Britain in badminton at the Tokyo Olympic Games. After badminton’s historic Rio 2016 campaign we welcome returning medallist Marcus back onto the team, alongside an exciting mix of athletes with Olympic experience and those making their debuts; a group that will undoubtedly put on a gripping show out in Tokyo.
“As we near ever closer to the Opening Ceremony on 23rd July, we hope that today’s announcement not only gives these athletes a great sense of pride, but a final boost for their remaining preparations before departing for Japan next month.”
Today also marks the announcement of the Paralympic badminton team for the Tokyo Olympic Games, with Jon Austin, Badminton England Performance Director and Badminton Team Leader for Tokyo, commenting: “It has been a long journey to get to the point today where we can announce both our Olympic and Paralympic teams for Tokyo. The players, coaches and support staff have performed and worked tirelessly in the most extreme circumstances to get to a position where we can announce those that have been selected today.
“There has been so much uncertainty about whether both Games would go ahead, so to be in a position where we are shortly to get on the plane is something that I know all involved will be relieved but also relishing the opportunity to perform at the pinnacle of our sport for Team GB.”
Team GB badminton squad for Tokyo Olympic Games:
Men’s singles: Toby Penty
Women’s singles: Kirsty Gilmour
Mixed doubles: Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith
Women’s doubles: Lauren Smith and Chloe Birch
Men’s doubles: Ben Lane and Sean Vendy