Badminton Life

British Squad Ready for Singapore Challenge

Despite three major tournaments before the Olympics, the Great Britain team have decided to focus only on the Singapore Open this week.

The Indonesian Open and Thailand Open follow, but the British coaching team have mapped out a training schedule that only takes in the Singapore tournament.

Andy Wood, the team leader said in British badminton's official website: "The first phase of our Olympic training Plan is now complete. We move into Singapore and the second phase in excellent spirits and with a solid block of physical training behind us.

"The variety in our training so far has proved very motivational with all players responding admirably."

Wood has placed more importance on conditioning and getting used to Asian conditions while in Singapore rather than results.

While in the island-state the team will have a training match against the Singapore national squad before the tournament. Upon returning to Britain, the players will camp at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes for final preparations before the Beijing tournament.

However, only five players will be in Britain. Andrew Smith is currently training in Auckland, New Zealand.

National head coach Ian Wright said: "All our players are fit and well. Team spirit is extremely high, everyone in the group is working exceptionally hard and doing their best and it is pleasure and privilege to be part of this project."

Apart from training, the British players have also had to deal with off-court issues such as doping. They had a visit from UK Sport for an anti-doping workshop in May, where they informed about the latest development in policies and procedures. These will be implemented at the British team's Macau holding camp in the immediate run-up to the Olympics.

The squad also had a visit from Dr Sherylle Calder, a sports scientist and eye/vision expert. Dr Calder previously worked with the English rugby team who won the World Cup in 2003 and the players enjoyed the session. Another visit is being planned before the Games.

The British team are hoping for a good run at the Olympics but will struggle to be among the medals given the strength and depth of players from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and European powerhouses Denmark.

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