13.08.16: Olver and Smith sign off with a win in Rio
Heather Olver and Lauren Smith ended their Rio 2016 in the best possible way as they earned their first win together as Olympians.
Tight losses in their opening two fixtures had meant the women’s pair couldn’t qualify for the knockout stages but that didn’t stop them from producing an accomplished display on Saturday.
Coming up against the Hong Kong pair of Lok Yan Poon and Ying Suet Tse, Olver and Smith started well and took the first game 21-17.
Their opponents struck back though in the second, winning it 21-18 to set up a decider but the British pair rediscovered their best form to take in 21-16.
And while Smith admitted the win was encouraging, they know they can play a lot better.
“It’s a good win but I’m not sure how well we played overall,” she said. “It’s nice to come through and not let it get on top of us and we’re happy to win a game here but we have got things to work on.
“Rio on a whole has been amazing. I kind of never want to leave. It’s like a little dream world where you want to pinch yourself every morning.
“It’s been a really hard 12 months for us to get here but I’m trying to take everything in and make the most of it all.”
Olver added: “They were a completely different pair to the girls we played yesterday, especially the Indonesian pair who are just world class.
“It wasn’t the prettiest of wins but I’m glad we stuck it out until the end and happy that we managed to finish on a bit of a high.
“It was our main goal to qualify and be here but we’re all sportsmen and we’re all competitive so we want to win.”
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.