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Nathan Robertson backs badminton venue change in 2012

Wallwork and Robertson tell BBC Sport they are happy to play at Wembley

By Russell Barder

Olympic silver medallist Nathan Robertson has backed a decision to stage badminton at Wembley Arena during the 2012 Games in London.

Organisers decided against building a temporary venue at the Olympic Park, a move that is unpopular with badminton's governing body.

But Robertson told BBC Sport: "For players, Wembley has a lot of history.

"To win a medal there at the London Olympics would give it a bit of extra spice rather than in a new venue."

Robertson won silver with mixed doubles partner Gail Emms at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, but the pair enjoyed less success in Beijing four years later as they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage.

I honestly think that if the Olympics weren't in London I wouldn't be sitting here as a badminton player

Nathan Robertson

Emms retired in the wake of that defeat, leaving Robertson to soldier on in search of success on home soil in 2012 with new partner, 23-year-old Jenny Wallwork.

The pair are fully focused on achieving their goals in 2012 and Wallwork insists the players will be happy just to be competing in London, no matter where they play.

"I think wherever it is it is going to fantastic," she told BBC Sport.

"Everyone's dream is to go to the Olympics and I really don't think anyone is going to care where it is at the end of the day.

"People just want to compete and do their best, so for us it could be anywhere."

Despite seeing his ex-partner retire, the 32-year-old Robertson admits the lure of London 2012 was too great to resist, even if he did harbour retirement thoughts of his own.

"I honestly think that if the Olympics weren't in London I wouldn't be sitting here as a badminton player," he added.

Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms
Robertson won silver at the 2004 Olympics with Gail Emms

"My will to want to go and play at those Olympics and possibly medal is driving me on for the next two years."

A busy year for British badminton begins in earnest this weekend with the National Championships at the Manchester Velodrome.

Robertson and Wallwork are seeded first in the mixed doubles competition, while Robertson and Anthony Clark are top seeds in the men's doubles as they bid to retain their title.

Wallwork will also be gunning for success in the women's doubles as she partners another emerging young talent, 19-year-old Gabby White.

The pair were runners-up last year, but are now seeded first, while Rajiv Ouseph is top seed in the men's singles as he looks to win a third straight national title.

The prestigious All England Championships at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena follow the Nationals in March, while the European Championships in April will also be held in this country - at Manchester's MEN Arena from 14-18 April.

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see also
Olympics badminton move opposed
02 Dec 09 |  London
Badminton opposed to 2012 switch
18 Sep 09 |  Badminton
Wembley Arena to host 2012 events
26 May 10 |  Olympics
Olympics 2012 venue guide
03 Dec 08 |  Olympics

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