June 2009 All News
MBE for Gail Emms
Gail Emms was celebrating today after being awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to badminton.
And BADMINTON England were the first to salute her with Chief Executive Adrian Christy saying: "On behalf of everyone connected with BADMINTON England, I offer my sincere congratulations to Gail.
"Her partnership with Nathan Robertson has been instrumental in helping to drive the popularity of badminton and now, as our first Ambassador, she is the role model everyone in our great game looks up to.
"Her achievements in recent years have been outstanding and she is truly recognised as one of the greatest players of all time. This award is richly deserved."
Gail, 32 next month, said today: "I heard the news three or four weeks ago and I expect the investiture to be within the next six weeks.
"It came as a bit of a shock but it's nice to be appreciated and reflects all the hard work that all athletes have to put in to their sport.
"This award isn't about me, it's about all the coaches and support staff who have been behind my success."
Hitchin-born Gail, who retired from international badminton after the Beijing Olympics last year when she and Robertson reached the quarter-finals, is still heavily involved in the sport and typically, in her Ambassador role, she was today coaching youngsters and promoting her sport.
In an England career which begin with her debut in 1995, she went on to win National, international, Commonwealth, European and world titles. Only Olympic gold eluded her.
She played 68 times for England and was part of the team which won a bronze medal at the Sudirman Cup in Glasgow two years ago.
But she is best remembered for her Olympic silver medal with Robertson in mixed doubles at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and for their Yonex All England title triumph in 2005.
In 2006 the pair won the world title in Madrid to make up for the disappointment of the previous year when Robertson was injured in practice on the eve of the world championships in Anaheim, where they were top seeds and hot favourites.
She and Robertson won the European title in 2004 and are also the reigning Commonwealth champions.
They were the No 1 pair in the world during 2005-2006 in a purple patch which brought back-to-back wins at the Yonex All England and Wilson Swiss Open, finalists in Hong Kong and victory in China.
The success continued into 2006 with them retaining their Swiss title and finishing runners-up at both the All England and the Singapore Open before going on to win the world title in an all-English final with their great friends Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg.
Gail and Donna won the European women's doubles title in 2006 and were runners-up in 2008. They were also Denmark Open runners-up in 2005 and 2006.
Gail also won four of her six English National mixed doubles titles with Robertson and four of her six women's doubles titles with Kellogg.