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Alex is selected for under-19 champs

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: October 05, 2012

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EXMOUTH'S Alex Lane will spearhead England's challenge at the World Junior under-19 Badminton Championships in Japan next month, after the reigning European titleholder was named in the 12-player squad for the trip to Tokyo.

Brother Ben enjoyed success of his own after winning two under-17 doubles titles on Sunday at the Swiss International Open in Prilly with England teammates Jessica Pugh and Sean Vendy.

"I was just buzzing when I heard the news," said newly-crowned Wimbledon under-19 champion Alex. "That's great for Ben, and my selection for the worlds is a wonderful opportunity – it will be great experience.

Alex, 17, is set to emulate mother Suzanne, who won 28 England caps and played in Japan numerous times.

"It will be very tough as Alex is playing up a year but it will give him great experience for next year when he will be able to play in his true year," she said.

"It will be great for him to play against the best in the world and it's the next step he has to climb up the ladder.

"As European champion, he has beaten the best in Europe – now he can see the standard in the Far East too."

Exton's Betty Blair, a former world champion in the seniors' age groups, is also thrilled for the young Devonian.

"Alex works so hard and is so fit and this latest opportunity is thoroughly well deserved for all the work that he puts in."

At the weekend, Alex partnered his father Richard to the final of the Devon restricted doubles at Torquay, where they went down to top seeds and nine-times champions Matt and Daniel Corby 21-17, 21-13.

Cranford's Blair and Alice Feesey won the ladies' doubles, beating Hannah Oxley (Exeter) and Anne White (St Leonards) 21-11, 21-12 in the final.

In the final of the ladies' singles, Feesey beat Blair 21-16, 21-18, after the latter had overcome Sarah Preece (Queens) 19-21, 21-19, 21-17 in the semis.

Queens' Russell Walker retained his men's singles title, beating former champion Mark Trebble (Cranford) 21-11, 21-8 in the final.

In the build-up to the County Restricted event, Jamie Roberton (Exeter) and Claire Hannah (Cranford) won the 30th Duchy of Cornwall Open mixed doubles in Redruth, beating James Whetter and Johanna Philp 21-19, 21-16 in the final.

In the ladies' singles, Crediton's Sarah Preece caused an upset after beating number three seed Sarah Gray 21-15, 21-13 in the quarter-finals before losing out to top seed Vikki Jones 22-20, 19-20, 21-10.

In her opening match, Jones beat Honiton's Leanne Debenham (Exeter BC) 19-21, 21-13, 21-13.

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