GB’s mixed doubles pair Chris and Gabby Adcock and men’s doubles duo Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis recorded thrilling three-set victories over seeded pairs on the second day of the badminton competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games yesterday (Friday).
The Adcocks defeated fourth seeds and London 2012 bronze medallists Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark 21-19, 22-24, 21-17 at Riocentroto.
It was the British pair’s first win over the Danes in five attempts and kept alive their hopes of progressing following their opening loss to Xu Chen and Ma Jin of China on Thursday.
The Adcocks now face a make-or-break match against Poland’s Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba today, with the winners likely to reach the quarter-finals.
The world number 7 pair made a perfect start against the Danes and won a tight opening game 21-19, but like in their first match against China, the second game slipped away despite some incredible resilience as Denmark edged it 24-22.
However the Adcocks took the third game by the scruff of the neck and surged into a lead, which they maintained and sealed the victory.
“It was a very, very good win”, said Chris. “We had a tough battle with them at the All England Open a few months back and it is fantastic to beat the seeded pair in our group..
“We are really happy with that performance.”
Langridge and Ellis meanwhile sent number 3 seeds Kim Gi-Jung and Kim Sa-rang tumbling 17-21, 25-23, 21-18 in a pulsating encounter.
The Team GB pair lost their opening match to London 2012 runners-up Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark and entered the clash knowing they had to win to stay in the competition.
And their daring three-game win sets up an intriguing match with Poland’s Adam Cwalina and Przemyslaw Wacha today with a place in the quarter-finals on the line.
The British pair fell behind in the first game and struggled to get back on track as the South Korean’s had momentum and confidently saw it out 21-17.
But a thrilling see-saw second game saw Ellis and Langridge dig deep and force a decider with a 25-23 scoreline.
And they took control immediately and went on to win the third game 21-18 in a huge result.
Chris said: “We have never lost to them, that is the third time we have played them and the third time we have beaten them which doesn’t really make sense because there are number 3 in the world and on their day possibly the best pair in the world. I don’t know why but we are probably their bogey men.
“We are so pleased because now it puts us back in contention to try and make the quarter-finals and the first step to doing something special.”
In the women’s doubles Heather Olver and Lauren Smith could not match the exploits of their teammates and saw their Rio 2016 campaign come to an end with a 21-10, 21-13 defeat to Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari of Indonesia.
A slow start saw them fall behind after the first game and despite battling hard in the second the GB pair were unable to turn the tables.
Following their defeat to Malaysian pair Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon on Thursday, it means the British pair can no longer make the knockout stages in Rio, but with one more match against Hong Kong’s Lok Yan Poon and Ying Suet Tse, Olver insists they can still play for pride.
She said: “We knew it was going to be a tough challenge and we knew we would have to play our best in order to get the wins.
“We played well yesterday and put in a good performance, we were disappointed not to win that but we were really happy with the way we played.
“We have still got one more game and hopefully we can a win under our belt there.”
Report courtesy of Badminton England