Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis won Team GB’s first ever Olympic men’s doubles badminton medal as they completed a superb Rio 2016 campaign with bronze at Riocentro.
Langridge and Ellis had to pick themselves up after a semi-final defeat to No.4 seeds Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan and did so in style against Chinese opposition once again.
Ellis and Langridge edged the first set against Chai Biao and Hong Wei, and despite losing a tight second, completely dominated the third to win an historic bronze in Rio.
The Team GB pair were 21-18, 19-21, 21-10 winners for Team GB’s maiden Olympic men’s doubles badminton medal and the first in any event at the Games since Athens 2004.
“The way the game unfolded we could have easily folded after the second set after being so close to actually taking it. I am very proud of how we came out in the third, we fought our way to a good lead and when we were 7-1, 8-1 up we could really relax,” said Ellis.
“As soon as someone is on the back foot in the third set and chasing, you are in the driving seat. We played the game better than they did and I think we were better than them. We are not just proud of ourselves but proud that we have managed to do it for our sport.”
Langridge and Ellis were Team GB’s last hopes in the badminton following Rajiv Ouseph’s exit in the men’s singles quarter-final and duly delivered on the day.
Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson were the last Brits to medal at the Olympics with mixed doubles silver at Athens 2004 and Langridge is adamant belief is what got them a bronze.
“On the day we are dangerous. We both believe we are good and you have to believe you are good to achieve things. Most of the time the pressure is on our opponents because we are lower ranked,” he said.
“We know that there are almost no pairs in the world we can’t beat and we showed that in this tournament. On our day we are so dangerous and I am so glad we could show it. People have noticed us because we are fighters and never give up as a team.”