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Page last updated at 20:32 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Sick Robertson out of All England

Nathan Robertson
Robertson was due to play in the mixed doubles and men's doubles

Britain's Nathan Robertson was forced out of badminton's All England Championships with a viral infection before the first round of matches.

Olympic silver medallist Robertson and new partner Jenny Wallwork had been set to face their first major test.

"I'm sure he's annoyed he's not playing because he loves this tournament, but he really wasn't well," said Wallwork.

Wallwork made up for the disappointment by partnering Gabby White to a superb win in the women's doubles.

The young Leeds duo were a game and 12-5 down in the second to Malaysians Goh Liu Ying and Ng Hui Lin but hit back to win 19-21 21-17 22-20.

Wallwork said: "We're good at fighting. We always tried to stick in there regardless of the score and luckily we pulled through."


Robertson's illness also meant he and Anthony Clark had to pull out of the men's doubles, where they were seeded eighth.

It further decimated the men's doubles field after Olympic champions Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia pulled out on Tuesday.

Clark benefited, though, as he and Donna Kellogg were the scheduled first-round opponents for Robertson and Wallwork and were instead handed a bye into the second round at the tournament known as the "Wimbledon of badminton".

Britain's other leading men's duo, Chris Adcock and Robert Blair, lost out to Denmark's Anders Kristiansen and Simon Mollyhus 19-21 21-17 21-12.

British Olympian Andrew Smith came from behind against Chetan Anand in the men's singles to book a second-round clash with former world and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat.

"Obviously it's difficult," said Smith. "He's been an Olympic champion - but he's not as good as he was then. It is definitely winnable."

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see also
Badminton stars to watch in 2009
03 Mar 09 |  Olympics

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