12.08.16: Olver and Smith determined to end on a high
Heather Olver is determined to ensure she and Lauren Smith end their Rio 2016 Olympic Games campaign on a high despite seeing their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages ended on Friday.
Women’s doubles pairing Olver and Smith took to the court against Indonesian duo Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii knowing that victory was crucial if they wanted to stay in the mix in Group C.
However a slow start saw them fall behind after the first game and despite battling hard in the second they were unable to turn the tables as they lost out 21-10 21-13 after 42 minutes.
Added to their opening defeat to Malaysian pair Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon on Thursday, it means the British pair can no longer make the knockout stages in Rio.
But with one more match against Hong Kong’s Lok Yan Poon and Ying Suet Tse, Olver insists they can still play for pride.
“We knew it was going to be a tough challenge and we knew we would have to play our best in order to get the wins,” she said.
“We played well yesterday and put in a good performance, we were disappointed not to win that but we were really happy with the way we played.
“And against one of the best pairs in the world then in these conditions it is quite tough, they played the hall very well and the first set we really struggled [with the conditions] and put ourselves under a lot pressure.
“The second set we turned it around a little bit. We have still got one more game and hopefully we can a win under our belt there.”
Rio 2016 represents an Olympic Games debut for both Olver and Smith and the latter admitted they had struggled to bring their A game for the whole match against their latest opponents.
“It was a bit flat and they outplayed us in most areas, especially when we came out in the first end,” she said.
“It was really slow so we weren’t getting a length, so we were kind of on the back foot from the beginning.
“We had a patch at the start of the second where we competed really well and changed the game and we got into it a lot more, it was just a shame to let that go.”
See all the stars of Rio in Birmingham next March! Tickets for the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships 2017 at the Barclaycard Arena are now on general sale.