With just 58 days to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympics, The British Olympic Association (BOA) has announced today four athletes as officially selected to represent Team GB in badminton at the Games.
The athletes selected to Team GB today are:
Chris Adcock - Mixed Doubles
Imogen Bankier - Mixed Doubles
Rajiv Ouseph - Men’s Singles
Susan Egelstaff - Women’s Singles
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The addition of the badminton players brings the total number of athletes officially selected to Team GB for London 2012 to 121 across eleven sport disciplines: archery, athletics – marathon, badminton, boxing, canoe slalom, hockey, sailing, shooting, swimming, synchronised swimming and table tennis.
Following a very competitive year-long qualification period, the badminton squad selected today contains exciting potential as all four players will be making their Olympic debuts in London this summer. The quartet is led by Anglo-Scottish mixed doubles pairing Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier. The young pairing have already tasted success in the Olympic venue after producing an outstanding string of performances to win the silver medal at the 2011 World Championships at Wembley Arena.
The squad also includes Londoner Rajiv Ouseph, who is five times English National Champion in men’s singles and a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist. Ouseph learnt to play the game at his local club in Hounslow, just a short distance away from the Olympic venue in Wembley.
The most experienced member of the squad is Susan Egelstaff, who won a bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games for Scotland, and is selected to compete in the women’s singles event.
The players qualified their places in the Olympic Games by achieving the relevant position in the BWF world rankings following a very competitive year long Olympic qualification period. The athletes’ preparation will be focused over the remaining weeks prior to the Games at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes.
The athletes were formally nominated to the BOA for selection to Team GB by the GB Badminton Board, the representative body for badminton in the UK. The athletes were announced during a press conference at the London Stock Exchange, before being photographed on the roof top of One New Change, opposite St Paul’s Cathedral in Central London.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said:
“With the Games drawing ever closer it is great to welcome four badminton players as officially selected members of Team GB. Their addition sees the tally of athletes selected to Our Greatest Team rise to 121 from 11 sport disciplines.
“The outstanding breakthrough performances by Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier en route to winning a silver medal at the World Championships at Wembley Arena last August were a clear example of the tremendous positive effect that enthusiastic and vocal home support can have upon the performances of British athletes.
“We have a young and exciting quartet of badminton players who have never before represented Team GB at an Olympics. The British Olympic Association has worked hard with the National Governing Bodies to help prepare Team GB athletes for the unique nature of the Olympic Games. The badminton players will gain experience of a multi-sport environment at the Team GB Preparation Camp in Loughborough and will have access to the ‘First Games Home Games’ materials we have produced to help athletes prepare for what to expect from an Olympic environment, how to handle the pressure, and manage the distractions. With the nation’s full support behind them, we hope they will be able to fulfil their great potential on the Olympic stage.”
Kenneth Jonassen, GB Badminton Head coach said:
“This is a young team with huge potential and after a full year of very tough Olympic qualification everybody deserves to be a part of Team GB. We really look forward to the next eight weeks of preparation and getting our players into peak condition ready to compete at the highest level.”
Chris Adcock said:
“After a tremendously hard year of qualification, when I received my selection letter to say that I would become an Olympian at the London 2012 Games, I was over the moon! I had achieved one of my lifelong goals and now that I have been selected to represent Team GB, my focus is to put myself in the best position possible to perform at my optimum level.”
Imogen Bankier said:
“I am absolutely delighted to become a member of the Team GB badminton team and I’m really looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd at Wembley Arena with the potential to hopefully bring home a medal. We have worked really hard to acquire this opportunity and we intend not to waste it!”
Rajiv Ouseph said:
“The Olympics is a once in a lifetime experience and I’m honoured to be representing Team GB in my home city of London. Having grown up here it’s even more exciting to be competing in front of a home crowd and knowing you have great support on the door step! I look forward to making the most of this unique opportunity and competing at Wembley Arena.”
Susan Egelstaff said:
“I'm so excited to be selected as a member of Team GB. This is the culmination of a really hard year of qualification and it's great to be successful and be able to look forward to participating in the Games themselves. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm really looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd. It's a privilege to be part of the Team and I cannot wait for it to start.”