Doubles pairings give Britain hope

Click to follow
Andy Goode, the British Olympic manager, believes he has helped produce two partnerships capable of competing with the best in the world - an opinion which will be tested at the circuit's most famous open tournament, the Yonex All-England Championships, which start at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham today.

Goode's fiance, Joanne Wright, and Julie Bradbury have climbed to No 3 in the world rankings in the six months since their women's doubles partnership was formed, while Simon Archer and Chris Hunt have become a more solid combination since winning the European men's doubles title last year. "I am very ambitious for these two pairs which can do as well as anyone we have had for a long time," Goode said.

Goode has worked hard with both these pairs and helped fund all four to major overseas events, but the greatest attention is likely to fall on the 22-year-old Wright. She has improved notably since finishing her Mathematics and Sports Science Degree at Roehampton College last year and this week is seeded to reach two semi-finals.

The world's two top singles players, Heryanto Arbi and Susi Susanti, both of Indonesia, are seeded to retain their All-England titles.