Badminton Life

Emms Hits the Comeback Trail

After the disappointment of English badminton star Gail Emms being unable to represent at the Korean Open and the English Nationals through illness, there was relief and joy all round after she was declared fit to travel with the squad to Holland to take place in the Thomas and Uber Cup which is taking place near Amsterdam

The former world's number in the female badminton ranking has not had her troubles to seek in the start of 2008 and the news that she is fit to travel is a positive sign that she is approaching full fitness, even if some doubts persist over whether she will be able to fully participate in the tournament. Even if Emms misses out on this tournament, this news offers hope that she will be back to her best in time for the All England Championships and to make up for the titles she has already missed out on this year.

No one would have been more frustrated at missing out on the action this year more than Emms, especially as she was denied the chance to add to the amount of silver wear she has collected at the English Open throughout the years. Emms may have missed out on the event but her sometime Doubles partner Donna Kellogg had an excellent tournament as she clinched victory in two tournaments.

Kellogg would have been feeling on top of the world after clinching two Doubles triumphs at the English Open and her Womens Doubles triumph was her 6th in 10 years which marks out the consistency and calibre that is going to be missing from this English team in Holland.

It is therefore slightly ironic, and a massive blow for English hopes in the Uber Cup, that now Kellogg has had to withdraw from the tournament as she has failed to recover from an injury she picked up during the English Open event. Although Kellogg was said to be bitterly upset at missing out on this opportunity to play for her country, she insists she will be fit for the forthcoming German open and the Yonex All England Championships which take place at the start of March in Birmingham, England.

To replace Kellogg and to provide cover if Emms feels she has not fully recovered from her virus, Joanne Nicholas and Suzanne Rayappan have been added to the travelling squad. Both of these players were left out of the original squad listed for the Uber Cup but have gained an additional chance to represent England due to the injuries and illnesses that appear to be plaguing the cream of female Badminton talent in England these days.

Whilst Nicholas and Rayappan will be adequate replacements and both can consider themselves unlucky to have missed out on the squad in the first place, there is no doubt that if the English team wants to be in with a chance of clinching the major honours, they will need a swift return to fitness of their top players, of which Emms and Kellogg most definitely are.

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