Badminton’s Team GB stars and some of Europe’s finest are preparing for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at a three-day training camp at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena.
GB stars including world number 7 pair Chris and Gabby Adcock, Rajiv Ouseph and world number 15 Kirsty Gilmour are putting the final touches to their preparations before they fly to Brazil on 2 August.
The training camp has been arranged at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, home of the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships, to give GB’s players the opportunity to train with many of Europe’s top players from across all five events.
Five badminton courts have been laid out including one court with a full Olympic spec including competition lighting. This event is also an ideal opportunity for players to test their recently received Team GB kit.
Jon Austin, Performance Director and Olympic Team Leader, said: “We organised this training camp as part of our plans to give our players the best possible preparations before they fly to Rio for the Games.
“We have moved all our players normally based at the National Badminton Centre plus all those who will compete in Rio to Birmingham. We also invited players from across Europe to be part of our preparation, resulting in acceptance from Germany, France, Ireland, Poland and Denmark all of whom are relishing the opportunity to spa and train together in the lead up to Rio.
“Being able to hold the training camp at the Barclaycard Arena, the home of the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships, is fantastic and we would like to put on record our sincere thanks to the NEC Group for their support in allowing us the use of the arena this week.”
Phil Mead, Managing Director Arenas at the NEC Group, said: “The Barclaycard Arena has hosted the YONEX All England for 22 years, and it has become an integral part of the Arena’s events calendar.
“We relish the opportunity to support the Badminton GB team ahead of the Rio games in any way we can, and we hope that the training sessions they have using our facilities will stand them in good stead for a position on the winners’ podium. From all of us at the Barclaycard Arena, we wish them good luck in August.”
Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “I am glad to see Team GB’s badminton squad have chosen to base their Olympic training camp at the Barclaycard Arena, as Birmingham offers first class sports preparation facilities.
“I wish Team GB all the very best for the Olympics in Rio, and I look forward to welcoming the players back to the city for the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships in March 2017, hopefully with a few Olympic medals.
“If you’re inspired by our Olympic stars, you can play badminton and other racket sports for free in Birmingham this summer – thanks to our Wot a Racket initiative.”
The training camp is being held at the Barclaycard Arena from 19-21 July.
The Rio 2016 Olympic Games Badminton competition is being held from 11-20 August, while the Draw Ceremony will take place in Rio on 26 July.
For more information about badminton at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games go to badmintonengland.co.uk/rio2016.
Report courtesy of Badminton England