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Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Samantha Ward going for gold at English Championships

Samantha Ward
Ward will compete with a new doubles partner in Manchester

Samantha Ward says she hopes she can celebrate her 21st birthday with success at the upcoming English Badminton Championships.

Frimley-born Ward goes to Manchester with a new doubles partner Helen Davies, and will play alongside regular partner Dean George in the mixed.

She told BBC Surrey: "To get to a semi-final would be a good achievement for me both in ladies and mixed.

"I'm aiming for semis really, anything more would be a bonus."

Because the tournament is all-English, Ward is not able to play with her regular Scottish partner Gilly Cooper.

She said: "It being the nationals we can't play together so Helen and me agreed that we'd give it a go and see how we get on. We'll have to see how it goes, maybe a partnership blossoming there.

"Hopefully we'll have a little bit of an easier game, first round, maybe just to get used to how each other play, and styles, she's quite strong in the rear court and my game tends to be in the forecourt so hopefully we can compliment each other quite well.

"It's such a prestigious event, Badminton England run it so well and you always get good crowds there in Manchester.

"It's actually based in the Velodrome, and if you can do well there then hopefully you can then progress and compete with the rest of the world."

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see also
Badminton calendar
27 May 09 |  Badminton
Badminton results
27 May 09 |  Badminton

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