Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis are one win away from a first British badminton medal in 12 years after their straight sets quarter-final win today.
The doubles pair despatched Japanese duo Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa 21-19, 21-17 to make the final four where they face number four seeds Haifeng Fu and Nan Zhang of China.
Langridge and Ellis are the first British badminton athletes to make the semi-finals at the Games with only Raj Ouseph left competing at Rio 2016. Ouseph faces his men’s singles second round match for a place in the quarters this evening.
And for Langridge, the run at Rio 2016 is down to the pair producing their best form when it matters to upset the badminton powerhouses of the sport.
“It’s insane really,” said Langridge. “If you’d have said to me at the start of the Games you’d make the semi-finals I’d have bitten your hand off.
“We’re one of these pairs that are kind of a bit up and down. One match we’ll play well and take out a top ten then next match we’ll probably lose against someone similar to us. But this tournament we’ve shown our ability throughout the whole Games. We are so dangerous when we play well.”
Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson’s mixed doubles silver at Athens 2004 was the last time Team GB came home with an Olympic medal and Langridge knows how important results like these are for their sport.
“This is massive for badminton,” added the 31-year-old. “We understand we’re a small sport on the global scheme of things and especially in Britain.
“People don’t know what badminton is really. We just really want people back home to play the sport and to play it in schools.
“It’s a great sport. I started 21 years ago at when my teacher was also county coach and now I’m in the semi-finals of the Olympics.”