The importance of the Commonwealth Games is not lost on Oxford badminton ace Ethan Rose.
It is now just 100 days to go until the showpiece event begins in Birmingham, with some of the best badminton players in the world set to compete.
Countries such as Malaysia and Singapore are traditionally strong at the sport but Rose, 19, expects his fellow English stars to be in the medal hunt this summer.
“The Commonwealths are massively important to badminton, particularly for English competitors,” he said.
“I think we have a good history in the Commonwealths – we’ve medalled in individual events, in team events, and I think as a country we’re very proud to be a part of it.
“It’s definitely one of the majors on the calendar and anytime you get a chance to go to the Games and represent your country there, let alone going to try and win a medal, it’s incredibly special.
“We’ve had a few players retire since the Gold Coast but I think we have a strong team and we have a very good chance in medalling in some events, hopefully the team event.
I think there’s some really strong competition. A lot of the world’s best is included in the Commonwealth Games and it’s going to be really interesting and some great match-ups.
“I think anytime that badminton can be put on the stage and you can win some medals and get more publicity is great for the sport.”
Rose’s badminton career is financially supported by a partnership between Entain – owner of Ladbrokes and Coral – and SportsAid, set up in 2019 and part of the company’s innovative Pitching In initiative.
Unfortunately, prior injury issues mean that Rose will not be competing at the event this summer, with his main target now the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
And though he believes a home championships will provide him with extra incentive to continue his progression, there is already one key reason why the Commonwealth Games is a special target for him.
Former squash star Sue Wright, Rose’s mum, soared to Commonwealth doubles gold at Kuala Lumpur 1998 and Rose said: “She was the first athlete in squash to win a gold medal because hers was the first event to take place.
“I think it would be incredibly special if I get the chance to go to the Commonwealth Games – the history behind it and the legacy that can be left behind from it adds a bit of weight to it.
“In the not too distant future, I want to be competing alongside those guys so I guess to see it in a home Games environment and see it at reaching distance just provides that little bit extra of incentive to think: ‘I can be doing this in a few years’ and ‘it’s not as far away as I think’. “
Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Visit entaingroup.com to find out more.