David Cameron fails to show off badminton skills


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The Independent Online

David Cameron attempted to showcase his badminton skills today as he urged the public to get "pumped up" about the Olympics.

The Prime Minister took on Lord Coe and two top England juniors in the garden at Downing Street.

The foursome faced off at an event to mark the final visit of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) before the games in July.

Mr Cameron lined up opposite gold medal-winning runner Lord Coe, both in shirt sleeves in the sunshine.

The premier and the chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) exchanged some fierce shots alongside England-ranked partners Nicola Gresty and Jessica Pugh.

However, Mr Cameron spoiled the effect when he paused to ask: "How does the scoring work?"

After about 10 minutes the match was declared an honourable draw.

Nicola, 15, from Gloucester, who played alongside Mr Cameron, praised his performance.

"You can tell he plays tennis," she added.

Lord Coe was joined by Jessica, also 15, from Telford, Shropshire.

The girls will be taking part in the Sainsbury's School Games, which is part of the legacy project for the Olympics.

Addressing youngsters, IOC members and sporting stars such as heptathlete Denise Lewis in Number 10, Mr Cameron said: "Let's get the whole country absolutely pumped up for this games."

Lord Coe said the contest, on a specially set-up badminton court behind Downing Street, had been "fantastic fun".

"I guess the more serious message is that in a space (measuring) 40-by-20, families could create that kind of theatre for themselves," he added.

"It is just about engaging people with sport."

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt insisted that inspiring young people was a key part of the long-term benefit from the Olympics.

"We want this to be the first real Legacy Olympics, which means that work is going to carry on after the Olympics is over," he said.