Badminton Life

Aussie Carroll Delights in Late Call-Up for Olympic Duty

Erin Carroll thought she would have to wait another four years to fulfill her Olympic dreams after initially being overlooked for the Beijing Games.

However, the 22-year-old, who suffered injuries in a motor accident last year, is now thrilled and excited after being given a late call-up to join the Austalian squad for the Olympic Games next month.

After the first round of selections by the Australian Olympic Committee, Carroll's name was not on the list. But she made it during the second round to fulfill her goal of playing in the women's singles competition.

Her first priority after learning of her selection was to go shopping for socks and other supplies to use during her stay in Beijing. Carroll, who played for Australia at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, said she still can't believe she has made it as an Olympian.

"I don't think it's sunk in yet at all and I don't have long before I leave," Carroll said in The Courier newspaper. "It was a little bit of a surprise, but I knew I'd qualified within the ranks and when the selection came through it was really exciting.

"I always kept training in hope and with no decision made on the women's singles that kept me going - it all paid off."

Indeed, Carroll has exercised great patience during times of hope and disappointment regarding her participation in the Olympics.

When there was a concession spot for the Oceania region in the mixed doubles, it went to New Zealand. As a result, Carroll and her partner Ben Walklate were left disappointed.

However, Carroll still had an outside chance in the singles thanks to her world ranking of 100. The Olympic competition rules mean each country can have no more than two representatives in any category, unless they are ranked in the top four.

Her celebration at making the Olympics is a far cry from one year ago when her team bus and a car collided in Geraldton, Western Australia. She suffered cuts to her face and shoulder.

"Before the accident I was completely focussed on ladies singles. This made me stop and realised that I had more chances in the doubles and mixed as a player," Carroll said.

"Now coming back into singles I have new skills which I can apply to my game. I learnt so much and definitely sitting where I am today, I am lucky."

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