January 2007 All News
Great Britain have it hard in Sydney
Australian Youth Olympic Festival
Thursday 18th January.
On the second day of competition Great Britain had to compete in three seperate team matches, against Australia, SIngapore and top seeds China.
Having lost 3-2 to Malaysia on Day One the team knew they had to work very hard to medal. Their first match was against their hosts, Australia. This was won 4-1 giving an excellent springboard for the team and the rest of the day. Ellis & Ward won their mixed, Merrilees won his singles in two straight games. Cheung lost her singles but White & Ward along with Ellis & Adcock won their doubles.
Up next were Singapore and the team got off to a good start with Adcock & White winning the mixed. Merrilees fought hard but could not keep the winning flow going, losing in 3. Although going one up Michelle couldn't close out the match and lost in 3, giving the initiative to Singapore. A victory for the Girls Doubles (Ward & White) meant Team GB roared back into contention and left the match on a knife-edge at 2-2 with one to play. Unfortunately Ellis & Adcock were unable to capitalise and GB went down 3-2.
The last match of the day was against a very strong Chinese team. The Asian style of play was just too much for the youthful GB squad and the team went down 2-0 in every game. It wasn't without a fight though and particularly Kieran Merrilees pushed his opponent very hard.
Team Manager Andy Wood was disappointed for the squad but was philosophical in his thoughts,
'All three rubbers we lost (against Singapore) were 50-50 games and we didn't manage to convert any of them, it is a shame but hopefully they are the sort of matches our guys will learn from.'
Regarding the Chinese match Andy was equally positive but was mindful to point out the differences,
'Its a style of play, in terms of speed and power, that they don't get much chance to perform against, so it's a bit of a shock for them. Hopefully it'll be a good lesson, and they performed well against them actually, they pushed them quite hard.'
The GB Team have their final team match on Friday morning before the emphasis turns to the individual competitions where the players will be looking to gain some revenge...and of course medals!
Wednesday 17th January.
After arriving in Sydney, Australia earlier this month the 6 players selected for the Australian Youth Olympic Festival Great Britain Badminton Team played their first match in the Team Tournament against Malaysia.
Andy Wood has sent back this report;
Well we started with a bang today-a cracking match against Malaysia. Unfortunately we came out just on the losing side 3-2, but what a team effort !
With Clive Woodward, Simon Clegg, Chef de Mission Mark England and numerous other team GB supporters present it turned into cliffhanger.
Mixed doubles first off, Chris Adcock and Gabby White producing a masterfull performance against a strong Malaysian combination in true Robertson/Emms style.
Mens singles next and Kieran Merrilees fought valiantly but was always second best against an extremely quick and skilful Malaysian singles player...1-1
The performance of the match has to go to Michelle Cheung . She simply refused to be beaten against another more skilful opponent and her resilience was remarkable in a very close 3 ended match.. 2-1 Great Britain.
Ladies doubles again fiercely contested and edged by Malaysia 2-2
The final and deciding rubber saw Malaysian mens doubles strength reign supreme in a fascinating match of very high quality.Adcock and Ellis were unable to keep their levels up after a mammoth first game which they just lost having saved numerous game points.
Team spirit fantastic and a very valiant display.
The players have all gone off to the opening ceremony now extremely excited but fully aware of the importance of tomorrows matches.
We have to compete against Australia at 9am, Singapore at 2pm and finally China at 6-30pm.
BOA support is as usual top class and the badminton unit is revelling in it...
Andy will endeavour to keep us updated as often as possible as to the teams' progress but you can also check out how the players are doing as well as the rest of the Great Britain team on AYOF Website.