With all of the athletes now back home following the conclusion of the Olympic Games in Rio, Gail has been reflecting on a great performance from Team GB overall, and especially on the badminton court.
The standout badminton performance for Britain came in the form of men’s doubles pair Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis who took home a bronze medal after defeating the Chinese pair of Chai and Hong. In doing so, they became the first British Olympic medallists in badminton since Gail and partner Nathan Robertson took silver in Athens 12 years ago.
What did you think to the performance of Chris and Marcus to take home a bronze medal?
It was possibly the biggest shock of the whole Games. It was just incredible as they scraped into the Olympics, are ranked 22 in the world and for them to then come away with a bronze medal was incredible.
We saw both sides of Team GB in Rio as those expected to win went out and did it and then there were magical stories like Ellis and Langridge who suddenly performed out of their skins, embodying the Olympic spirit, and just did it. They went out there determined to do their best, never thinking they were going to win a medal, which is what makes it so lovely.
What about Rajiv Ouseph making it through to the men’s singles quarter finals?
He had a good draw, and he’d had a good draw in London too but didn’t capitalise on it. This time he went out and did what he should have. I’m really pleased for Raj because he’s such a skilful badminton player, a lovely bloke and sometimes it can be frustrating that he hasn’t achieved what he’s capable of.
In Rio he went out and silenced a lot of people, so he’ll be really happy.
There was disappointment for Chris and Gabrielle Adcock though in the mixed doubles?
It was a difficult group but they had match points in all of their matches. For them it will be a massive learning curve, but they are still young enough to go to Tokyo. They will be hurting but they’ll learn from it and come back stronger.
What about the performance of Team GB as a whole?
We knew it was possible, but we didn’t know if they could actually go out there and do it. It just shows how much we have invested in elite sport as we’ve put everything into trying to find those marginal gains, into sports science and this group showed what we do with it. We showcased to the world what we now do in elite sport.
It’s onwards and upwards for us as Team GB will just do their thing and keep on winning come Tokyo in four years’ time.
Gail Emms MBE is available for personal appearances, brand endorsements and media work. To secure her services in the follow up to this marvellous summer of sport, call Amelia Neate at Champions Celebrity on 08453 31 30 31or email firstname.lastname@example.org.