Birch triumphs again at English Badminton finals

Chloe Birch celebrating her double win at the English Badminton championships (credit chloebirch95 instagram)

Preston-born Chloe Birch has once again defended her women’s singles and doubles titles at the English National Badminton Championships in Winchester.

The now four-time singles champion defeated Freya Redfearn, who was competing in her first singles final at 19-years-old, to comfortably win in two games 21-12 21-17.

Birch, 24, followed her exploits in the singles with a victory in the women’s doubles final alongside fellow North West player Lauren Smith.

The pair came out on top over three games after losing the first game 21-12.

But the defending champions showed their class to storm back to win the next two 21-18 and 21-11.

Speaking to Sportsbeat, Birch said of their doubles triumph: “They made us work for it, and we just had to battle. After that first set, we knew we had to come out fighting and give everything.”

“I’m really happy to be here and even more happy to win.”

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The pair have tasted more success together this past year taking home the RSL Kharkiv International in Ukraine and the Azerbaijan International women’s doubles titles among others.

The win means Birch puts her name into the record books with her eighth women’s doubles title, equalling the record of Gillian Gowers.

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Birch described the championships as a “hard fought weekend” on social media and said that she will be back training on Tuesday.

Birch will now be looking ahead to the Olympics in Tokyo where she will be a strong medal hopeful despite Sport England cutting funding for the sport ahead of the 2020 games.

Badminton lost all of its £5.5m of funding in December 2016, regaining just £630,000 on appeal a year later.

Some athletes, including Birch, have been forced to turn to social media to appeal for aid in their bids to get to the games in Japan.

The loss of funding has left one athlete having to compete in professional leagues in India to make ends meet to try in a bid to make the Games.

Despite this Team GB will still be looking for success in Tokyo and to build on the bronze medal achieved by Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge in Rio 2016.