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Gail Emms - My Olympic year (part I)

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Gail Emms

British badminton star Gail Emms won an Olympic silver medal with mixed doubles partner Nathan Robertson at the 2004 Games in Athens.

Over the coming months on 606, the 30-year-old will be providing an insight into her preparations for the Bejing Games later this year.


The festive period seems to have just flown by, and my partner Nathan Robertson and I are already at our first tournament of the year here in Malaysia, where I've also been playing in the women's doubles with Donna Kellogg.

My Christmas was a bit manic this time: I stupidly offered to have people round for dinner on Christmas Day, and there was nine of us cramped in my house I didn't sit down at all!

One other highlight was the girls' Christmas party where we did karaoke, as well as our New Year's Eve party in Milton Keynes it was fancy dress and I went for Geri Halliwell as my outfit. You've got to let your hair down, and I definitely did!

Check out the photos here.

I have got a few New Year's resolutions: to stop biting my nails (although that was hasn't really worked in previous years!) and normal stuff like cutting down on caffeine and eating more fruit and vegetables.

It's 37 degrees in Kuala Lumpur, and from here we go to Korea, where I've heard it's currently minus seven


I'm a bit of a tea and coffee monster, but purely on our trips abroad as a social thing.

I've also come into 2008 with a slight injury: I've got a little tear between the arch and the heel in my right foot and it's still sore.

It's not serious, just wear and tear. I think it's that I'm getting old!

I'm getting physio on it twice a day, though, and it's not stopping me going for my shots otherwise, there's no point stepping on court.

Our world ranking is five at the moment, and we're seeded fifth in Malaysia, where we've got quite a good record: We won here in 2002, and were runners-up last year.

On top of that, the top pair Zheng Bo and Gao Ling from China aren't here, so everyone's trying to make the most of it by winning the title.

At the moment, they have a psychological dominance, and I don't like that!

It's 37 degrees in Kuala Lumpur, and from here we go to Korea, where I've heard it's currently minus seven!

We normally make eight trips to South East Asia and the Far East every year, but I've never worked out how many air-miles we've racked up - I really should be on some sort of loyalty scheme.

The main goal this year is to win gold at Beijing - we've achieved everything else we've wanted to achieve


The first few trips at the start of your career, you're normally really excited to get on the plane, but I must have been to Malaysia about 15 times now and it's like "oh no, I've got another 14-hour flight!"

We don't get to do too much sightseeing, and it's normally the same airports, hotels and sports halls.

My DVD collection gets me through it we've currently got series 5 and 6 of 24 with us; the trouble is, if you get into it, that's it, you're addicted!

Obviously the main goal this year is to win gold at Beijing, which will be my last Olympics, and I really feel that Nathan and I have been waiting for it for the last two years, ever since winning the World Championships.

We've achieved everything else we've wanted to achieve Europeans, Worlds, Commonwealths, All England and we've ticked those off our list.

I'm glad the Games are coming around, but it's like a big exam: you know it's there, you know it's coming, you want to get it over and done with, but when it arrives, you think "oh God, I want another few months, I haven't done enough revision!"

I'm chilled out at the moment about it, but I know I'll get really nervous when they come around really quickly.

If you have any questions for me, please post them below and I'll answer as many as I can.

Gail Emms was talking to BBC Sport's David Garrido

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posted Jan 31, 2008

Best of luck in Manchester.

I'll be tuning in on the 5th of March

Could I ask what had you done to your knee on your last photo?

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posted Jan 31, 2008

Think I can clear this one up for you - there was no injury - think it was more of a dance routine or pose for the photo than anything else!

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posted Jan 31, 2008

Thanks very much

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posted Jan 31, 2008

Oh no I see Gail will be missing the tournament in Manchester. Get well soon !!

http://www.nationalbadmintonchamps.co.uk/08news05.htm

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posted Feb 3, 2008

How lon do you practice for on average??

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posted Feb 12, 2008

I see Gail has bounced back from illness with avengeance in the Uber Cup - destroying the Spanish girls in 2 sets, and she had a new partner, Gabby White, who has only just become a senior.

Congratulations to you both !!

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posted Feb 14, 2008

I wish badderz would get more coverage on terrestrial tv

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posted Feb 15, 2008

Guys, I just googled this 'Gabby White' and I have to say that she is just as aesthetically pleasing as our lovely Gail here. I'm sure she can play Badminton well too.

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posted Feb 18, 2008

Hi everyone - thanks for the questions so far - please keep them coming.

And if you follow the link, I've written a new update on events over the last month:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A32480435

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