Badminton: Swedish crown Leeds star’s Olympic hopes

Jenny Wallwork.

Jenny Wallwork.

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Leeds badminton star Jenny Wallwork has given her Olympic qualifying prospects a significant shot in the arm by winning last weekend’s mixed doubles title at the Swedish Grand Slam badminton tournament in Stockholm.

Partnering Nathan Robertson – her partner on court as well as off it – Wallwork worked wonders to help to defeat Denmark’s Mads Kolding and Julie Khoumann 21-17, 21-17 in just 38 minutes.

The Danish pair had defeated Britons Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier in the semi-finals but had no answers to Wallwork and Robertson in the British pair’s first major final since the Swiss Open in the middle of last year.

The Commonwealth Games silver medallists dominated from the start and from building an 8-2 lead never looked back as they eased their way to victory.

The result propelled them up the world rankings in pursuit of their Olympic qualification target.

Wallwork, pictured above, and Robertson had previously been as high as No. 5 in the world standings before a run of poor results saw them fall to No. 22.

The Swedish result came on the back of an excellent win the previous week at the Malaysian Open where they defeated Adcock and Bankier.

The next event will be the English National Championships at the Reebok Arena in Bolton in two weeks’ time.

Wallwork and Robertson will be defending their national titles in both the mixed doubles and level doubles for the third consecutive year.

Wallwork’s dad, Brian, said: “They’ve done very well but, to be honest, they have had a bit of a rough time with results in the last month or two.

“This was a good time to get a decent victory and hopefully it will keep them going.

“This will put them back into the teens of the world rankings, though with the Olympics it is only the top 16 pairs that go so it was always going to be really tough.

“A rough trip at the wrong time can put you out of it, but it’s going to be close between now and May, which is when the qualification has to be decided.”

East Stand at Elland Road.

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