Join Team GB

Bring on China says Birch after defeating hosts at AYOF

January 16, 2013 12:04 pm

Chloe Birch insisted bring on China after the British badminton team got their Australian Youth Olympic Festival campaign off to a great start in Sydney.

The 17-year-old was one of the first Brits in action on day one Down Under, taking to the court at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Hall to face hosts Australia.

And, despite having the home crowd on their side, the host nation were no match for Birch and her fellow Brits in round one of the team event.

After Team GB had won both the mixed doubles and men’s singles events in straight sets, Birch followed suit with a similar victory of her own in the women’s singles over Verdet Kessler.

And, although Birch and Holly Smith lost the final women’s doubles event after Aaron Cheng and Tom Wolfenden won the mens, the damage had already been done and Britain won 4-1.

This means the team now take on favourites China in the semi-finals on Thursday but, after beginning her Australian adventure with a bang, Birch insists the challenge holds no fear.

“4-1 is a good win against Australia, especially since they are the home team,” she said. “It is always good to get a win on the board first up and hopefully we can just build on this.

“There was a good performance by the team all round but there is still plenty to build on now heading into the rest of the competition.

“We have China next up now and that will be tough as they are the best nation in the world for seniors and juniors.

“But it is a good chance to play them and to test ourselves against some of the best players. We played them at the world juniors last year and it was tough but hopefully we can get the result this time around.”

With Birch being one of the first of 1,700 athletes in total to get the Australian Youth Olympic Festival underway on day one, she admitted to feeling nervous.

But with her debut out of the way she is nothing but excited about what the future holds.

“The first game of mine is always a bit nervy and it was no different here so it was good get those out of the way,” she added.

“A lot of us we a bit nervous to start with but we got through it and picked up a comfortable victory so hopefully there is more of the same to come.”

© Sportsbeat 2013