Photo: Badmintonphoto
Marcus Ellis: We again will be the unexpected pair
Date: 5/28/2020 9:59 AM
Published by : BEC staff

It is quite hard to believe that it was nearly three months ago that all eyes were on Birmingham for the All England Open where we saw Marcus Ellis go on a great run and come up just short in securing a spot in the mixed doubles final.

Following that successful week, where Ellis also had a quarterfinal finish in the men’s doubles, the badminton world came to an abrupt stop. Meaning that this momentum, which has taken Ellis and Smith back into the top 10 mixed pairs in the world, was not able to continue. Speaking about how these last few months have been, he says.  

- I have mixed feelings about the last two months. Most of me misses the normality of life and of course, I want to get playing badminton again which has not been possible. The other part of me feels happy for a break from travelling and to be in one place for a few weeks. The Olympic qualifying period was tougher than I expected so having this time has helped me recover.

We all know that the Olympics now will take place in 2021. Ellis touches on how this affects his plans moving forward. 

- The Olympics being postponed was disappointing but absolutely necessary. It does not change much for me at all. I still want to be there representing Great Britain in whatever event I qualify for. If anything, it has given me time to take a breath and get ready for the next challenges ahead.

Read: BWF announces updated qualifying regulations for Olympic and Paralympic Games

Who knows what lies ahead?

The reigning European Games men’s and mixed doubles champion has struggled with injuries over the past year. Ellis is also the current holder of the Olympic men’s doubles bronze medal, but he is hungrier than ever to achieve more. 

- I am still very ambitious and feel I have more to contribute to badminton regardless of what I have achieved. I have been much more relaxed this time around as I know that a qualification period is full of ups and downs and to not stress myself is the most important thing.

Team GB surprised the badminton world at Rio 2016, winning that bronze medal in men’s doubles and also Rajiv Ouseph reaching the quarterfinals in men’s singles. With more eyes on the Team GB players, does this change things this time around?

- I still do not think people are looking at us! We will qualify (hopefully!) in a very similar position to last time, so we again will be the unexpected pair. It is fine for us but we always seem to thrive in multi-sport environments so who knows what lies ahead?!

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