12 Feburay, 2024
Ben Lane is not letting this summer’s Olympics distract him from a ‘very busy calendar’ as he gears up for the YONEX All-England Championships.
The Birmingham showpiece is now exactly a month away, with Lane and men’s doubles partner Sean Vendy ready for what is always one of the highlights of their year.
A good week on home soil could provide a huge boost to the pair’s chances of competing at a second consecutive Olympics but the 26-year-old is not looking too far beyond the more immediate challenge.
Lane said: “As the Olympics are this year, it’s probably in the back of your head a little bit but it’s still a long way away.
“It’s just about trying to perform in the match that we’re about to play and not getting ahead of ourselves.
“Preparation has been good and the All-England is a big focus of ours every year.
“It’s been a very busy calendar, so we’ve taken a couple of tournaments out to really focus on the All-England and the European Championships.”
Lane and Vendy seem to be finding form at just the right time, having recently won the men’s doubles title at the English National Championships for the third successive year.
Lane said: “I think it’s important to win tournaments wherever you are.
“It’s a different environment to training, we’re at Nottingham University and it’s a tournament.
“It’s a bit different to practice, so it’s always good to win matches and win a tournament.”
That triumph represented just a small part of the hard work the Exmouth star has been putting in to prepare for next month’s YONEX All-England Championships.
The British pair have followed a strict plan to best prepare themselves for the upcoming tournaments, working on both the physical and technical side of the game.
“It’s just smaller details now, not general areas,” he said.
“At the start of this year, we had a big focus on physical training where we did three weeks in the gym and now it’s a lot more on-court tactical stuff.
“We’ll just play whoever is put in front of us. There are many good pairs in men’s doubles now that there are literally no easy matches.
“It’s just about turning up and trying to perform as best as we can. Hopefully, that’s enough, but if not, then our opponents have probably played very well.”
Lane and Vendy were beaten by fifth seeds Liu Yuchen and Ou Xuanyi in the first round last year but will be hoping home advantage can spur them on to greater heights this time around.
“There’s a bit of pressure because it’s obviously in England and the crowds basically all English, but I see that as a positive,” Lane added.
“It’s one of the biggest tournaments in the whole calendar and it’s just an hour down the road from where we live which is a massive advantage.
“We’re just super excited to play there again this year.”