Badminton: Robertson and Emms upset odds

Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms dipped in to the chemistry which saw them win a badminton mixed doubles silver medal in Athens to surge through the trickiest of first round ties in thrilling fashion.

The unseeded British pair beat number two seeds Bo Zheng and Ling Gao and what appeared to be most of China 21-16 16-21 21-19 in the Beijing University of Technology gymnasium to take their place in the quarter-finals.

It was the most impressive of performances, especially from Emms whose feisty work at the net was a feature of a victory which must rank as one of the best of her career.

Emms set the mood by vigorously contesting the first point with the umpire and while it went to China it was the only time they were ahead in the first set.

The Britons were swifter on their feet, more organised around the court against opponents who were expected to make the final.

Gao had two Olympic gold medals to her credit, one in the doubles in Athens and another in the mixed doubles in Sydney.

But Emms and Robertson handled her experience with ease, targeting the Chinese woman for much of the match.

It paid off and while they lost the most competitive of second sets with the home support in raucous mood, they rallied in the third, coming back from 17-12 down to take the set and the match in the most spectacular of finishes.