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Badminton players selected for Team GB at Rio Olympics

Badminton players selected for Team GB at Rio Olympics

Eight badminton players have today been named by the British Olympic Association (BOA) to represent Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

It is the first time since the Athens Games in 2004 that Team GB have representation across all five disciplines, and follows a year-long qualification period that ended in May.

England's world number seven pairing Chris and Gabby Adcock will compete in the mixed doubles after finishing 2015 on a high with victory at the World Superseries Finals in Dubai in December.

Chris Adcock, who won gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 with wife Gabby, made his Olympic debut at London in 2012.  

In the men’s singles eight-time English National Champion Rajiv Ouseph is also set for his second Games appearance after competing at London 2012.

Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour, who recently reached a career-high 15th in the world rankings, is the representative in the women’s singles.

Heather Olver and Lauren Smith continue their fine partnership in the women’s doubles, while Olympic debutants Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis round off the team in the men’s doubles.

Team GB have won two medals in badminton since its inclusion as a full-medal sport in 1992 – with Simon Archer and Joanne Goode taking bronze at Sydney 2000 and Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson winning silver four years later in Athens.

The selected athletes are:

Rajiv Ouseph, 29, (hometown) Hounslow (Men’s singles)

Kirsty Gilmour, 22, Bellshill (Women’s singles)

Gabby Adcock, 25, Leeds (Mixed doubles)

Chris Adcock, 27, Nottingham (Mixed doubles)

Chris Langridge, 31, Epsom (Men’s doubles)

Marcus Ellis, 26, Huddersfield (Men’s doubles)

Lauren Smith, 24, Carlisle (Women’s doubles)

Heather Olver, 30, Eastbourne (Women’s doubles)

England star Rajiv Ouseph said: “I’m very happy to be selected for Team GB. It was a long, tough year in terms of tournaments but I’m just happy that’s over and now I can concentrate on actually competing.

Doubles specialist Chris Langridge said: "The Olympics is the biggest thing in badminton. I started playing at the age of 10 so to be selected for Team GB is what I’ve been working towards for 21 years.

His playing partner Marcus Ellis added: "To be selected is a massive honour. It's only just sinking in but 'm really looking forward to the next couple of months.

“It’s an amazing achievement. That was the first tick in the box, to qualify and make sure we’re selected."

Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour said: “It means a huge amount to me to be selected for Team GB.

“It’s a special moment and something I’ve aspired to from a young age, so for it to become a reality is a dream come true.

“I’ve had a really positive year so far and I can’t wait to start competing.”

 

Chris Adcock said: “I am really excited now it has been announced that we are members of Team GB for Rio.

“We have a full quota in Rio in the badminton and this is the first time that we have had Rio on our tops and it is really exciting. It is a good feeling right now.

“I am as excited now as I was before London 2012 and it is such a special thing to go to any Olympic Games."

Gabby Adcock added: "Now it has been announced, it is starting to feel real and there is a massive buzz around the National Badminton Centre and we are looking forward to it.

“To be able to experience Rio with my husband is a massive dream. After missing out on London 2012, there was no way I was going to miss Rio."

Lauren Smith said: "To be selected for Team GB is an absolute dream come true. It's been a really tough journey and to actually be going is pretty crazy."

Her partner Heather Olver added: "To be selected for Team GB means absolutely everything.

"It's been a hectic year trying to qualify and I'm really pleased we're going to Rio."

Good shape

Jon Austin, Performance Director for the GB and England Badminton Performance Programmes and Olympic Team Leader, said: “It’s been a long and arduous qualification process over the last 12 months but we’re delighted at the conclusion to have qualified across five disciplines for the Rio Olympic Games.

“Eight players have qualified, which equals our team size in Beijing and will be the first time since Athens in 2004 that we will have representatives in every event.

“We are in the midst of final preparations, the team are in good shape and looking forward to what lies ahead.

“The work done by the BOA and ourselves means we have a good understanding of the environment in Rio and we are confident the players will have all necessary support during the Games to aid their performance.”

Team GB’s Chef de Mission Mark England, who confirmed the team selection at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes, said: “I’m delighted to be able to welcome these eight players to Team GB and see another fine squad of athletes book their seats on the plane to Rio 2016.

“Chris and Gabby Adcock had a very strong year in 2015 and are one of the best mixed doubles pairs in the world, while Rajiv Ouseph has long been our strongest men’s singles player.

“There is plenty of talent in this squad and on their day any of these athletes can challenge the best in the world so we’re looking forward to seeing them in action this summer.”


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