New partnership is promising for Olver

Heather Olver
Heather Olver
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Heather Olver insists she is already looking to the future after her partnership with Kate Robertshaw blossomed at this weekend’s English National Badminton Championships.

Olver reached the final of the women’s doubles with Robertshaw, as well as falling at the final hurdle in the mixed doubles alongside Chris Langridge.

The link-up with Robertshaw is a relatively new one and their display in Milton Keynes has Olver wondering how far up rankings the duo can climb.

The next major test will be the All England Open in March and Olver is excited to test out the pairing against more top couples.

“It’s quite a new pairing. That was mine and Kate’s first National final,” she said. “We’re doing alright, we’ve got a few tournaments coming up now so it will be good to see where we’re going from now really. We’ve got ourselves into the main draws of all the top tournaments – that’s the first step. Now the next step is competing with the players.

“We’re 29 in the world now so we need to break into that top 20 so we’ve got a bit of work to do and it’s about keeping that consistent level.

“I would not have thought myself and Chris would be 16 in the world coming into this year so I’m really pleased the direction things are going in.

“The All Englands is such a prestigious tournament, everyone wants to compete in that.

“All the good players are there so that’s again a chance to show exactly where our level is amongst the world.”

Olver and Langridge slipped to a 21-18 21-16 defeat in the mixed doubles final to the Adcocks – a duo they know well.

“I wouldn’t say I have played badly,” said Olver. “It was a great game to play.

“They are a world class pair now. We haven’t actually played them in a competitive environment so it’s great to do that and see where we stand. We will go away and work on a few things and hopefully up our level as well.

“We know them like the back of our hands, that can be quite tricky as well. They know us, we know them so it levels things out.”

And she leaves the event satisfied with how it panned out, especially in terms of its ability to help inspire the next generation of badminton players.

“The venue is a real professional environment,” she added. “It’s been great to compete here and have so many young kids here as well.

“We have so many academies now in Milton Keynes so it’s been great to get them in and hopefully inspire them to continue playing and getting them to play more.”

Tickets for the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at the NIA in Birmingham are available at www.allenglandbadminton.com or call the box office on 0844 444 9994