Badminton: ‘Explosive power, speed and lots of skill’
MSN Sport meets British badminton star Chris Adcock and learns what spectators can expect from Team GB on the court at the London Olympics
Britain is no stranger to badminton success at the Olympic Games and doubles specialist Chris Adcock sees no reason why he and partner Imogen Bankier can't replicate or better the past successes of mixed doubles pairs Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms (2004) and Simon Archer and Jo Goode (2000) at the London Games.
"China has been the strongest badminton nation for some time now but the gap is closing", explains Chris. "We feel we can definitely challenge them and beat them on our day. With home crowd support and us playing at our best, we know we can achieve good things".
Chris believes spectators yet to experience badminton live are in for a real treat at London 2012: "Fans can expect a great atmosphere and really good performances from the GB pairs competing".
The pace of the game does most to captivate the crowd. "The speed the shuttle travels is the most exciting thing", says Adcock. "It goes at over 400km/h, that's faster than a Formula One car travels. It's hard for a TV camera to capture that kind of speed and that kind of skill".
AP Photo-Tom Hevezi
What are the key skills you need to compete at the elite level in badminton? "You need explosive power, the endurance to keep that power going and strong footwork", reveals Chris. "In doubles, it obviously helps if you get on with your partner. I'm great friends with both Imogen and Andrew [Ellis, men's doubles partner]. You also need a professional relationship where you have complete open honesty."
In addition to personal success at the Games, Chris feels a responsibility to help raise the profile of his sport in Britain.
"Badminton is such an accessible sport", states Chris. "If my performances inspire kids or adults to book a court and play, that's so worthwhile. I remember watching Simon and Jenny win their bronze [at the 2000 Games] and thinking 'I want that to be me'. If I can do the same for the younger generation now, that would be brilliant".
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