Badminton Life

Robertson Injury Blow

Coming so close to the major summer tournaments, any injury or enforced lay-off is the cruellest thing that can befall a sport star.

Many athletes will be crossing their fingers and hoping for the best of luck in avoiding any knock or injury between now and the Olympic Games in Beijing. One athlete who hasn't been so lucky is Nathan Robertson, the highly rated English badminton star. Robertson was due to undergo surgery on his ankle on Saturday the 3rd of May.

It seems that this problem has been blighting Robertson for many months and has been affecting his build-up to tournaments. It had been hoped that Robertson would be able to play through the pain barrier and have an operation after the Olympics but the injury has caught up with him.

Announcing that there are foreign bodies which have been floating around his ankle joint, the decision to have the operation now should ensure that Robertson returns in time for the Games. Whether the player will be fully fit by then is an entirely different matter.

Robertson already has a silver medal form the Olympics in the Mixed Doubles event but his hopes of going one better and gaining a gold have definitely been hit by this news. He is expected to be out of action for up to 6 weeks and this will eat into the badminton teams 12 week Olympic preparation plan.

Of course, this lay-off doesn't only just affect Robertson, his Mixed Doubles partner Gail Emms will be affected by his lay-off too. Emms hasn't had the best of years with injuries either and will no doubt have been looking forward to a lot of practise with her partner. This enforced 6 week absence may derail the duos opportunity to shine at the event.

Another blow to the duo's chances of Olympic glory is the decision by the Badminton World Federation to have only four seeds in the Doubles event. Given that Robertson and Emms are currently ranked sixth in the world, this will mean they could face any of the top seeds.

This decision will also affect the other British team with Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg who are currently lying eighth in the rankings. The chance that they could face any of the top seeds from the off means that the British team are facing a battle to return from Beijing with the medals.

Emms and Kellogg are also taking part in the Ladies Doubles and they will be ranked sixth for this tournament. The top three seeds for the Ladies Doubles are all Chinese players so no doubt there is a large degree of host nation expectancy for this event.

Whether Emms and Kellogg will be able to defeat their counterparts will be just one of the intriguing outcomes of this year's badminton event at the Olympic Games. Gail Emms may have her preparations for the Mixed Doubles event disrupted through no fault of her own but there is no way will the player allow herself to be unsettled as she strives for a big finish to her badminton career.

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