Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis made badminton history by becoming the first British men’s doubles team to win an Olympic medal as they beat the Chinese to the bronze in Rio.
Taking on Chai Biao and Hong Wei, Langridge and Ellis, who train at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes, won 2-1 (21-18, 19-21, 21-10) in the bronze medal match on Thursday afternoon.
Their success prompted joy from the British badminton contingent.
Chris Adcock tweeted: “Unreal from @ellis_marcus111 @C_Langridge Olympic Bronze medal! Congrats guys!!Enjoy it!!”
Gail Emms, who won silver in the mixed doubles in 2004, said: “I salute u @ellis_marcus111 and @C_Langridge!!! Olympic BRONZE medalists!! Whoop whoop!!”
Nathan Robertson, Emms’ partner in 2004, added: “AMAZING... @C_Langridge @ellis_marcus111 #WELCOMETOTHECLUB So so so impressive and fully deserved.”
Langridge and Ellis have been vocal about their hopes to inspire the next generation of badminton players.
And Langridge knows that a medal match at a Games is the best stage of all to show the UK what the sport is all about.
“I really want people to start playing, people to just go down their local club and have a game even if they are not going to go professional,” he said.
“Badminton is the fastest sport in the world, it’s not Formula 1, the lad we played today (Fu) hits the shuttlecock at over 400km/h. No wonder we struggled to get it back.
“Until people actually watch it they can’t understand. But we are in a semi-final, we still have the chance to play for bronze medal and for GB badminton this is big and for us it’s massive.
“I want to make badminton in Britain big – I want more people to see it and it’s a dream for me and Marcus – we really, really want to win a medal. We will give everything we can.”