Mersey beat

Newly appointed Portuguese badminton coach Tom John has included the Algarve’s top-ranked junior Pedro Martins amongst his six-pair team contesting this week’s European Mixed Doubles Championships in Liverpool. Set to reach its climax next Tuesday, Portugal is initially competing in Group 2 also featuring Switzerland, France and Cyprus.    

Martins will then go on to defend valuable 2008 ranking points at the Dutch (February 25 to March 1) and German (March 5 to 8) Opens.