Thursday, August 19, 2004

Brits miss out on Badminton gold. But only just.

Robin. True Brit.
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Yes, we're just back from seeing Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms narrowly missing out on the mixed doubles Badminton gold. We saw the women's final first, which was won by a Chinese woman after she lost the first set to a Dutch woman - big and very vocal supports for both. Then the men's doubles semi-final, Danes won the first set, but then lost the next two to the South Koreans who went through.

And then to the match we'd gone for. There was a big British following and we were just behind the very loud Chinese bunch. Flags aplenty and muchos shouting. The Brits lost the first game 15-1, but rallied superbly to win the second set. The decider was really close, but Gail seemed nervous and her unforced errors (which, apparently, she hadn't been making in earlier rounds) eventually caught up with the pair and the Chinese pipped them to the gold. Still, amazing performance to get silver and they looked rightly pleased and proud as they received their medals (though that may have been because they received them in the presence of Robin).

It was funny seeing so many British flags about - we Brits are far more used to cheering for our individual countries of England. Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales. In fact, I think this is the first time I've seen Britain (as opposed to England) play at anything. You could tell everyone else wasn't used to it either. When people were trying to start chants they weren't sure whether to say 'GB', 'UK', 'Britain' or 'Great Britain'.

But even though our pair lost, I really enjoyed seeing badminton played at such a high level - it was quick, graceful and tactical. Think I picked up a few tips. The folks from work that I play at the Central YMCA in London had better watch out..!


Anonymous said...

I have spent the last half hour at the office reading your commentary and what a wonderful way to avoid working! How delighted I am that I discovered your blog through the mention in an online article written by Anick Jesdanun titled "Product Review: Olympics Online Coverage", which said .....

", meanwhile, is a spectator's humorous take and features a contest for readers to guess how much snacks at the venues cost."

I suspect you will receive a great deal more traffic now, as that article seems to be popping up at newspaper websites all over the place.

Keep up the reporting, hope you all have a fabulous time for the remainder of the Games, and have a safe trip back to London.

~ Ginger, Tennessee, USA

Anonymous said...

From Rachel in California: I saw your blog address in that same story. I love your blog, it's delightful! :)