Olympic Games / Prospects for Gold: Baddeley takes up Swiss role: James Leigh on the Olympic exit of an estimable Briton

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The Independent Online
STEVE BADDELEY, the British Olympic badminton manager, is to retire from his job immediately after the sport has completed its Olympic debut in Barcelona next month. He will then take up double duties as team trainer at the Swiss National Badminton Centre in Lausanne and as assistant national coach for Switzerland.

Baddeley has signed a two-year contract which will not only make it impossible for him to supervise players aiming for the Olympics in Atlanta, but may also rule him out of a job as England manager.

This position is likely to become available after the World Championships in Birmingham next year, when the present England manager, Ciro Ciniglio, may retire. Baddeley, who has a record number of England caps and ended a distinguished playing career by becoming European champion two years ago, would have been an outstanding candidate.

'The new job is obviously incompatible with continuing as British Olympic manager, but I did make it clear some months ago that I would have to stop doing the job after Barcelona,' Baddeley said.

Baddeley's decision to leave Britain for a position on the Continent is no surprise to those who understand the difficult financial position of English badminton. Also relevant is his resignation as national director of coaching and development in Scotland three months ago because of a lack of opportunity - among other things - to coach good quality players. These should be available to him on a more regular basis in Lausanne.

There was another Olympic disappointment when the Barcelona seeds were announced yesterday. Only four have been allocated in each of the two doubles events, which has ruled out Britain's two medal prospects, Gillian Gowers and Sara Sankey, and Gill Clark and Julie Bradbury, from a seeding position in the women's doubles.

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