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Team England completes its badminton squad


Team England has strengthened its badminton squad with the addition of Simon Archer, Donna Kellogg, James Anderson and Robert Blair.


1998 gold medallist, Simon Archer

At the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998, Simon Archer, one of England's most experienced doubles players, won gold with Jo Goode in the mixed doubles and is likely to rekindle the partnership with her at this year's Games.

Donna Kellogg, one of England's most experienced women players, also won gold with Goode at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in the women's doubles. She took bronze in the mixed doubles with Chris Hunt.

Robert Blair moved south of the border from Scotland in 2001 to improve his game.

Finn Traerup-Hansen, England's badminton performance director, said: "We have now completed the selection of our squad for Manchester 2002. We have a strong and experienced squad, but we also have some exciting young players who we think will do well at the Games."

"We did very well at Kuala Lumpur four years ago," he added. "We've made some progress over the last four years, but a lot of our opponents have also got better, so there will be some tough competition at Manchester."

England's badminton players won three gold medals, a silver and seven bronzes at the last Commonwealth Games.

The other members of the 14-strong England badminton squad are:

Anthony Clark
Mark Constable
Gail Emms
Jo Goode
Tracey Hallam
Colin Haughton
Julia Mann
Ella Miles
Nathan Robertson
Sara Sankey

Ann Hogbin, Team England Chef de Mission, said: "I would like to welcome Simon, Donna, James and Robert to the England squad for Manchester 2002."

"I hope they enjoy taking part in the Games and I wish them every success."

Badminton matches take place at the Bolton Arena. The action begins with a mixed team contest. This differs from Kuala Lumpur, where there were separate men's and women's team events.

The team competition gets underway on 26 July and concludes with the final and the victory ceremony on 30 July.

The individual events - men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles - begin the following day, culminating in finals day on 4 August.

Sport England has allocated up to 1.5m a year to badminton until 2005 through the World Class Performance Programme to support its elite players. This money has also funded the England squad in their preparations for the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Manchester 2002 road events are free for spectators whilst athletics events held in the City of Manchester Stadium are available online

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