Team GB’s Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis have won Britain’s first ever Olympic men’s doubles badminton medal and the first Olympic badminton medal since Athens 2004 as they capped a superb Rio 2016 campaign with bronze at Riocentro today.
The world number 22 pair had to pick themselves up after a semi-final defeat to the fourth seeds on Tuesday and they did so in style with a 21-18, 19-21, 21-10 win against Chai Biao/Hong Wei.
In the beginning of the match, the two pairs accompanied each other until the Chinese were able to pull away. And right when it looked like they would take the lead for good, Ellis and Langridge fights back to 10/10. Then a shot from Ellis sent the shuttle outside the side line, and the mid-set score became: 10/11.
They played well and believed in themselves, which earned them the lead at 17/16; the first time since 7/6. And they were able to keep their distance and win the first set 21/18.
In the second set, Chai and Hong took the early lead and continued be ahead by 3-4 points. Even though Ellis and Langridge fought their way back, they never managed to make it and had to see the match through to a third set; 19/21.
It was important to get a good start on the next set, and that was exactly what they did. 3/0, turned into 6/1 and by every point they gained more confidence.
And the success continued, two downcast Chinese saw the bronze medal disappear to their opponents when a cross court smash gives the British a match point, and they could celebrate after a challenged Chinese serve is called out.
“We could have folded after the second set and I’m so proud of how we played in the third. We just fought so hard to get that bronze - no-one was taking it off us”, says Langridge after the match.
An amazing achievement for British badminton, and European badminton in general. Their bronze medal, Marin’s Women’s singles final, and the Danes in the Women’s doubles, is the product of European badminton’s evolvement.