Badminton England has decided to send Ben Lane and Sean Vendy as their representatives for the men’s doubles event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, choosing over higher ranked players Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge.

In the final Olympic qualification rankings (dated 18 May 2021), Rio Olympic bronze medalists Ellis and Langridge are ranked 19th while Lane and Vendy are at 25th.

England can only send one representative to the Olympics according to the rules of qualification as both pairs are not inside the top eight .

Through their official website, Badminton England stated, “Completing the line-up is men’s doubles pair Ben Lane and Sean Vendy who qualified by virtue of their impressive performances on the BWF World Tour in January this year, becoming the first English men’s double pair to reach the semi-finals of a World Tour event. Ranked 25th in the world, they then went on to win the Orleans Masters event two months later.”

The following is a comparison of the recent results of the two pairs:

Recent results of Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge:

2021 European Championships –  Semifinalists
2021 All England Championships –  Quarterfinalists
Swiss Open 2021 –  Round of 16
2020 BWF World Tour Finals – Group Stage
Toyota Thailand Open 2021 – Round of 32
Yonex Thailand Open 2021 – Quarterfinalists

Recent results of Ben Lane and Sean Vendy:

2021 European Championships – Quarterfinalists
2021 Orleans Masters – Winners
2021 All England Championships –  Round of 32
Swiss Open 2021 – Round of 16
2020 BWF World Tour Finals – Semifinalists
2021 Toyota Thailand Open – Quarterfinalists
Yonex Thailand Open 2021- Round of 16

Marcus Ellis will still be going to Tokyo for the Olympics as he has also qualified in the mixed doubles category with his wife and partner Lauren Smith.

Lauren Smith wrote on her Instagram “For obvious reasons, related to the selection, it has been a bumpy few weeks. Despite it being a controversial decision, there has been no support offered to myself or the other athletes to deal with this and prevent the negative effect it has had on my Olympic preparation.

“Unfortunately this didn’t come as a surprise as over the past few years it’s felt more and more like the player’s wellbeing and happiness in the environment is not valued.”