Badminton: Familiarity key for Stawski
By Paul Smith, Sportsbeat
BEING named as fourth seeds gives Nuneaton's Ben Stawski hope that his mixed doubles partnership with Lauren Smith will prove successful at the English National Badminton Championships.
Stawski and Smith are one of Badminton England's longest running pairs, having played together for four years.
Last year, coaches at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes, where Stawski is now based, decided to change several pairings around but kept faith with Stawski and Smith.
And having been given a seeding for the English Nationals which start on February 1 at Manchester's National Cycling Centre, Stawski is prepared to mix it with the country's top players at the latter stages of the tournament.
"I'm happy that we aren't changing and swapping partners all of the time so that we can get into a good rhythm of training and tournaments and are not constantly having to adapt to different players' games all the time," said the 22-year-old.
"It will be tough because there are some strong mixed doubles pairs in it this year.
"Obviously there is no Nathan Robertson anymore but the likes of Chris Adcock, Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis are established players at tournaments regularly reaching semi-finals or better so it is going to be tough.
"It would be good to think we can win this or that but that is too much to think about - I'd rather focus on each tournament at a time."
To experience England's best players battle it out live for the title of National Champion, visit www.nationalbadmintonchamps.co.uk or call the box office on 0844 5811 424
(c) Sportsbeat 2013