Telford badminton prodigy Jess Pugh has started on fire at the prestigious YONEX All England Championships in Birmingham.

The 21-year-old Shropshire shuttler is through to the round of 16 in the mixed doubles after downing German pairing Marvin Seidel and Linda Efler 21-13 21-16, alongside partner Ben Lane.

The result is a huge milestone in the English duo’s development, with youngsters Lane and Pugh winning in the main draw at badminton’s oldest tournament for the very first time.

“I think there was a lot of tension in the hall,” commented Pugh after sealing what turned out to be a comfortable victory. “We’ve played them twice before and lost to them twice so coming into it we probably weren’t favourites, but we knew that if we played our best and put the right tactics out that we could beat them.”

The result is all the sweeter for the two English 21-year-olds as Seidel and Efler twice beat them comfortably in 2018, 21-10 21-18 at the World Championships and 21-17 21-8 at the US Open.

Lane and Pugh are incredibly bright prospects in the future of British badminton and this result caps their progression, with the youngsters not making it to the All England main draw in 2017 and losing in the first round last year.

The young shuttlers have long been thought of as the successors to No.1 English pairing Chris and Gabby Adcock, with an all-English match-up now confirmed for the next round on Thursday.

“We’re really happy that we could put out the right gameplan, it turned out to be quite comfortable in the end,” added Pugh, part of the English team that won mixed team bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

“We analysed loads of their (Seidel and Efler’s) games and saw the styles of play, we avoided getting trapped in certain positions they like to be in.

“The hall was quite fast and it threw us off a little bit but we managed to stick to the plan and get the win.

“Both of our families are here watching and it’s really nice to have a tournament here at home.

“To get a win on top of that while they are here watching at such a big event is even better!”

The 2019 YONEX All England – Badminton’s Greatest Show on the sport’s world tour – will wow fans at Arena Birmingham, 6-10 March. For tickets and information: or search All England tickets.