GB’s badminton stars find out who the international competitors await at Tokyo 2020 in the BWF Olympic Draw.
In mixed doubles, world number 8 Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith fell into a tough second set in their first game as a partnership.
Ellis and Smith meet Thai third-seeded Dicapol Poavaranokruh and Sabsiri Teratanachai, who both won the BWF Super 1000 event held in Bangkok in January.
They complemented their group of glamorous European opponents Tom Jequill and Delphine Delrue of France and Canadian Josh Hurlport Yu and Josephine Wu, whom they had never played before.
In the women’s doubles, Japanese top seed Smith and Chloe Birch face Sayaka Hirota and Yuki Fukushima in the first set.
They met in the semi-finals of the Yonex All England Open in 2021, where Hirota and Fukushima won at 21-14 12-21 14-21 and went on to win the championship.
Birch and Smith will also face Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Apriyai Rahayu and Malaysia’s Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean.
In the men’s doubles, Ben Lin and Shawn Fendi are given the task of the first group that includes Indonesian “fathers” Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcos Fernaldi Gideon.
The Olympic entrants, ranked 13th in a competitive lottery, will face Chinese Taipei athletes Li Yang, Wang Zhilin, India’s Chirag Shetty and Satwiksiraj Rankreddi.
Toby Benti will face a familiar and new opponent, Germany’s Kai Schaefer and Thailand’s seed Kantavon Wangcharoen in the men’s singles.
The 28-year-old has beaten world number 74 Schaeffer four times in their five encounters and will meet 2019 world bronze medalist Cantavon for the first time.
Returning Olympian Kirsty Gilmore will face fourth seed Akana Yamaguchi in her backyard in Group L, having most recently played with the Japanese in 2019.
Gilmore Collection is completed by Pakistani Mahor Shahzad.
Badminton England was proud to support the British Football Association in preparation for the Games by hosting the Olympic Draw at the National Badminton Center in Milton Keynes.
It gave Jack Shephard, Dan Bethel, Simone Archer and Annie Cho a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help make the draw for the biggest tournament in our sport.
Jack and Dunn, both world medalists in badminton, will take home the gold at the Paralympics from August 24.
Jack said, “I am very proud to be part of the BWF Olympic Draw for the Tokyo 2020 Games. It is a great honor and I can’t wait for the Games to start now.”
Dunn added: “I am very honored to be asked to be here today for the BWF Olympic Draw.
“The games are so close now and I can’t wait to watch my GB teammates compete before I head to Japan in a few weeks.”
Simon won GB’s first badminton medals alongside Joe Good at Sydney 2000.
Participating in the raffle was an unforgettable moment for Annie, the 2020 Badminton England Young Volunteer, who has done so much for the sport in the Tees Valley region.
Howard Bentham hosted the draw and BWF Councilwoman Nora Perry MBE was also in attendance at the ceremony, raising anticipation for the games that will open in just 14 days.
Players will travel to Tokyo next week before the competition begins on Saturday, July 24th. You can keep in touch with their fortunes on social media channels in Badminton England.