Badminton: Q&A with Team GB's defeated doubles player Chris Adcock


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The Independent Online

Although Chris Adcock and his playing partner will be unable to qualify for the quarter-finals in today's match against China, Adcock says he will still be watching the Games.

What is it that’s so special about badminton?

You need to see it live to understand the speed of the game that doesn’t come across on TV. It’s the fastest racket sport, with the fastest-recorded shuttlecock travelling at 262mph.

Wasn’t football your first love, though?

I played in the junior teams for Macclesfield, Leicester and Nottingham Forest. I loved the sport and still do — I’m a Chelsea fan. I played up front but it came to a point when I had to make a choice of sports and I went for badminton. I’m glad with the choice I made.

The Champions League Final must have been pretty special.

I was in China preparing for a tournament so I had to set my alarm for a 2am kick-off. It was well worth it. I shouted out like a nutcase but, thankfully, my team-mates were in the neighbouring rooms. It was a few days before the competition, so I caught up on the lost sleep.

Some of the rivalry seemed to get punchy within Team GB for Olympic qualification. What’s your take on that?

Everybody wanted to win — it’s a home Olympics we were fighting for. What happened was well publicised but that was good for the sport. People have to remember we were all training together and it wasn’t a case of nobody speaking at meal times. It was just all about qualifying for the Games.

Are the Olympics a step up from the World Championships?

In badminton, you can’t get bigger than the World Championships and, for standard, the Olympics are on a par. But there’s much more distraction at the Athletes’ Village. At Olympic level, it’s more about taking yourself away from the distractions.

Your silver at the World Championships was a surprise, wasn’t it?

As names in the sport, we weren’t that well known. At the World Championships, we were able to string a few results together. It proved a catalyst for how we then moved on.

What do you both bring to the partnership?

We enjoy playing together. My speed from the back of the court is my strength, while Imogen’s strength is at the net.

Can badminton be a dirty sport?

A lot of things go on that people don’t realise, call it gamesmanship or whatever. People stamp on the shuttlecock or break it to buy time, simple things.

What’s your first Olympic memory?

It was badminton, watching Simon Goode and Jo Archer win bronze at the Sydney Olympics. They made me realise I wanted to get to that level.

How did you get into the sport?

My family played. My grandad gave me my first racket and my brother played for England — he played at the 2008 Games. It was cool as my brothers played so I wanted to, it became a social thing and it helped I was good at it.

If you could watch any Olympic event, what would it be?

I’d have to say Usain Bolt in the 100m. Everyone says that, don’t they?

Center Parcs is an official partner of Badminton England, supporting England’s players from grassroots to elite level as they strive to become the best in the world. Visit for further information