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Aussies have final hit out against GB All-Stars

Written by  Badminton Australia Monday, 23 July 2012 08:23

Australia has rounded off an eventful pre games camp with an exhibition match against some of Great Briton’s best current players and recent retirees in front of a 500 strong local crowd in Derbyshire.

Former World Champions and Olympic Silver Medallists Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson led the GB All Stars in an event designed to let the Australian Team put the final touch on their preparations for the Olympic Games, while at the same time putting on a show for the Derbyshire community who have looked after the Australian team over the previous week. The Canadian Olympic Team was also meant to be involved in the event, however the illness that struck the Aussie players earlier in the week hit Canada on Friday forcing their withdrawal.

Ross Smith and Glenn Warfe opened proceedings in a men’s doubles match against Nathan Robertson and Peter Mills. The match consisted of some intense rallies mixed with some light hearted moments that kept the strong crowd entertained throughout. The English duo took the opening game before Warfe and Smith fought back strongly to take the second game. A modified format meant that the winner would be decided by the first team to reach 7 points in a third game “Shootout”. It was Robertson and Mills that adapted the best to claim the match.

In the women’s doubles Leann Choo and Renuga Veeran were looking to keep the Aussies in the tie against Jenny Wallwork and former Wolrd Championships Runner up and local hero Donna Kellogg. After a shaky start the Aussies worked their way to a 16-14 lead but were unable to hang on, dropping a tight opening game. Choo and Veeran came out stronger in the second game, but some inspired play from Kellogg, backed up by some solid rallies from Wallwork kept the Aussies out of the match and gave a 2-0 lead to The GB All-Stars.

With the withdrawal of Canadian Olympians Toby Ng and Grace Gao from the event, Smith and Veeran backed up to take on Robertson and Emms in the mixed doubles for the final match of the evening. It was an entertaining match with lots of crowd involvement and friendly banter between to players. However Robertson and Emms showed why they were such a formidable force in World Badminton for so long, winning in two tight games.

The Aussies wrapped up their final training session yesterday and will head to London today enter The Olympic Village. The draw for the badminton event will be completed tomorrow with matches to get underway on day one of The Games.

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