Badminton Life

Illness Causes Emms to Miss Out

In disappointing news for the badminton fans that were looking forward to the English National Championships, Gail Emms has been forced to withdraw from the tournament, meaning it has been the second time in four years that the player has missed out on the big event.

Emms is the current Womens Doubles Championship and has a total of twelve victories to her name in previous English National Championships, with six Mixed Doubles and six Womens Doubles titles, so it is obvious that there is going to be a huge amount of talent that is going to be posted missing from the event at the Manchester Velodrome.

After having missed out on the event in 2004 through injury, it is a cruel twist of fate that has denied Gail Emms her place in this years event and it can only be hoped she will have better luck with regards to tournaments in the year ahead. It may only be February but given that Emms has missed out on the Korean open and now the English National Championships, it must be viewed as sad start to 2008 for the talented star.

One pair who have benefited from Emms withdrawal is the duo of George Bevan and Caroline Smith who have earned a promotion from the reserve list to take part in the event in the place of Robertson and Emms in the Mixed Doubles tournaments. No doubt Bevan and Smith would rather have gained admission into the tournament on their own merits as opposed to this entry by almost default but when opportunity knocks, it is imperative to take the chance when it comes and the duo will hope to remain in the tournament as long as possible.

The late call-off also means that Donna Kellogg will be looking to find a last minute replacement to accompany her in the Womens Doubles event and keep up her high participation in the tournament. In addition to the Womens Doubles, Kellogg is appearing in the Mixed Doubles event with Anthony Clark as her partner and the pair are ranked as second seeds going into the event. It can only be hoped that the late rearrangements to Kelloggs plans will not affect her in any meaningful manner and she can fully focus on the task ahead.

In addition to Kellogg, Emms Mixed Doubles partner Nathan Robertson was faced with a tricky decision to make after Emms was forced to pull out and in contrast to Kellogg who is seeking a new partner, Robertson has decided to withdraw from the Doubles event and focus his energies on his other events. This is sure to be a major disappointment to the tournament as the duo were ranked as top seeds for the Mixed Doubles event but no doubt many of their rivals will have a quiet level of satisfaction at such highly rated opposition withdrawing from the tournament.

Robertson will still be involved with Doubles action over the weekend though as he will pair up with Anthony Clark in this event where the duo are ranked as the second seeds in the event. There may be one less big name appearing at the English National Championships and Emms will be a loss from the line-up but with so many other big names on show, the tournament remains an important draw in the annual calendar.

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