Tuesday 08 August 2017
Turn the clock back a year, and Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge were in Rio, knee deep in preparations for their first Olympic Games.
They could never have predicted how it would end – a bronze medal, Team GB’s first podium finish in the sport since 2004.
Back to the present day and they’re in the midst of a tough training block yet again, this time for the Total BWF World Championships, but despite their achievement 12 months ago, they’re not feeling any pressure ahead of taking to the court in Glasgow.
Seeded 14th in the men’s doubles, Langridge and Ellis are sure to be a fans’ favourite upon walking out in the Emirates Arena.
But they’re determined not to approach this tournament differently to any other, confident they can get the job done if they perform at the level they know they can reach.
“We don’t feel too much pressure. We expect to go there and perform the best that we can, and that’s very much how we approached the games in Rio,” Ellis said.
“We don’t focus on the result we want to get to, we just want to play the best we can. We know that when we play our best, we can compete and beat the best in the world.
“That was very much the mentality that we had last year. After the Games, there was a period in which tournaments did feel quite different, like we had the targets on our backs.
“But it’s been almost a year and while it was an amazing achievement, we’ve had to put that in the back pocket and focus on what is ahead of us.
“It’s a great feeling to come out knowing the majority of the arena is backing you to win, and I’m sure that will be the case in Glasgow.
“I’ve played at the Emirates Arena before and that wasn’t even for a World Championships, yet the atmosphere was amazing.”
The lead-up to the World Championships have been somewhat different for the pair, however, with Ellis having recently tied the knot while Langridge has welcomed the arrival of twin daughters.
It’s a change, and a break, that has done them both the world of good, yet they can’t wait to be back on court doing what they do best.
“Preparations have been going pretty well,” he said. “We’ve had a lot going on recently, Chris has just had twin girls so he’s had a lot of new stuff to be taking care of, and I’ve just got married, but it’s nice that we’ll be going into the World Championships with five weeks of preparation.
“That’s actually quite rare nowadays. Me and Chris are incredibly honest with each other, which I think is very important in a doubles partnership.
“I spoke to him briefly after the babies were born but then I thought it would be good to give him a couple of weeks to get used to fatherhood.
“In the badminton environment, we are in contact outside of sessions, but sometimes that break is good.
“We need to have breaks both physically and mentally, to ensure we’re fit and firing when we get back.”
The TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 will be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August.
Photo credit: Badminton Photo
History was made on finals day at the TOTAL BWF World Championships as Viktor Axelsen became the first European player to win men’s singles gold in 20 years.