Badminton Life

Britain in Search for Top-Class Coach

Although the Beijing Olympic Games have just finished, Great Britain badminton team officials are already preparing for the London Games in four years' time.

High on their priority list is a world-class coach who can take them to glory on home soil. Britain last won an Olympic medal at the 2004 Athens Games when they took silver in the mixed doubles.

Beijing proved to be a fruitless exercise in terms of medals and how they are determined to shine in front of their own fans.

Local governing body British Badminton have already advertised for a performance director, who would earn an annual salary of 75,000 pounds sterling (approx US$130,000) plus bonuses.

In badminton, that is good money and British Badminton is hoping to lure a top name to groom their players.

The coach would also be in charge of the team for February's European Team Championships in Liverpool and the World Championships in Manchester in April 2010.

Britain is even looking beyond the London Games with the ultimate goal being to build the British into a world-class team by the 2016 Olympic Games.

British Badminton chief executive Andy Christy has already gone on record as saying he wants the team to be better than the Chinese and Indonesians within the next decade - a huge task given the popularity of the sport in those Asian countries.

He was quoted as saying in the British media: "It's a chance to make home advantage count in our quest for medals and success and we can't afford to waste this opportunity and I want to see us up there as the best in the world by 2016."

Great Britain have only won two medals at the Olympics, both in mixed doubles. Simon Archer and Joanne Goode took bronze at the Sydney Games in 2000 while Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms claimed the silver in Athens.

At the Beijing Games, Robertson and Emms reached the quarter-finals before being beaten by eventual gold medallists, Lee Yong-dae and Lee Hyo-jung, of South Korea.

"After our Olympic medal success in Sydney and Athens, we missed out disappointingly in Beijing and we want to more than make up for that in London," said Christy.

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