Carlisle badminton star Lauren Smith is out of the YONEX All England Open but is pleased with the strength in depth developing in the British game.

The 27-year-old shuttlecock ace, who won bronze in the men’s doubles at the 2016 Rio Olympics, flew into the second round at badminton’s oldest tournament but came up against stubborn resistance on day two, losing out to Malaysian pair Goh Soon Huat and Lai Shevon Jemie in the mixed doubles.

Longtown’s Smith and partner Marcus Ellis never really got going at Arena Birmingham despite vociferous home support, losing out 21-15 26-24.

Despite the defeat though Smith talked positively about the English game, with experienced duo Chris and Gabby Adcock defeating up and coming compatriots Ben Lane and Jess Pugh at the prestigious tournament.

“I think it’s an incredibly positive thing,” she said. “We’ve obviously got the three pairs here and then we’ve got other pairs at Milton Keynes and you get good sparring opportunities.

“It keeps our level high and you can all work together to improve as a collective.

“It’s not about competing in England, it’s about competing with the rest of the world but to have multiple pairs through to the latter stages can only be a good thing for now and in the future.”

Ellis and Smith started slowly in their first-round match and staged a comeback against Chinese players He Jiting, but couldn’t repeat the trick in round two.

Their Malaysian opponents raced into a first-game lead and never looked like succumbing despite the English pair’s efforts.

Ellis and Smith made a better first of it in the second game and the crowds roared them on during several tie-break points but the English players couldn’t maintain composure for long enough.

After the defeat, Smith commented: “We didn’t move at the speed we normally do so I’m struggling to think of any positives!

“Unfortunately though you have to lose to learn is what I’m told!

“So we’ll have to look back at what we did wrong, was it a preparation thing or a warm-up thing - was it just a mental thing.

“We will have to learn from it and grow from it, it’s just disappointing to lose here in that fashion.”

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.