Nathan Robertson Q&A


BBC Sport got the chance to quiz Nathan Robertson, who has announced he will be playing both men’s and mixed doubles in the run-up to the London Games in 2012. We asked you for questions to put to the Olympic silver medallist. Here are his answers:

Were there any PE teachers at your school that you felt were inspirational or detrimental your badminton? Were your school supportive about any time off you may have needed? (No1_Sports_Pundit)

I did get time off sometimes, especially the last couple of years when I was starting to represent England at international tournaments as a 14/15-year-old.

My PE teacher at school was actually into table tennis. He was called Dave Bullas. He was one of the guys who had the best table tennis serves you’d ever come across and you could never get it back, so he was always pretty fun to play against.

I was more into basketball at school but I don’t think I had the height or power to make a career of it. I was always interested in the sport – and still am. I follow the NBA a lot. I even got to watch the Dream Team out at the Olympics which was pretty fantastic.

I see you are playing men’s doubles with Anthony Clark in the Denmark and French Super Series. Was this an easy decision to go back to men’s as well as mixed? (fieldy0208)

Anthony is a former partner and we played together at the Athens Olympics. During the summer, we had several overseas players come and spar, including the top Danish and Polish pairs, and we played fantastically together. We beat most of the top European pairs. We’ve really enjoyed playing together again, so we are both looking forward to it. We know each other’s game inside out and we’ve been best friends and room-mates on tour now for 15 years.

Even from a young age I’ve always loved playing men’s doubles. It’s a really fast, energetic game. I did win a World Championship bronze in men’s doubles but always felt there was possibly more there for me in that event. I think we can do OK.

As a keen player for over 25 years, the recent introduction of the new scoring system has revitalised how I play now. How has the new system changed the way you approach games? (Haychjay)

It has made the game faster and more dynamic. The fitness element has been taken out of it a tiny bit because the length of a match now is about one hour where it could have been 90 minutes under the old system. You have to be a little bit more aggressive. There is no room for working your way into a game. You’ve got to be really on the gun from the first point or you’re in big trouble.

It’s definitely a good thing as far as watching it on TV is concerned. Constant scoring changes is always going to be good in sport, so I think it’s gone down well with the public. I think people who have not watched badminton before are finding it easier to get into it.

As for playing, I know a lot of older people are not so keen. I wasn’t so keen when it was first mentioned but all people should want to play the same scoring system that’s used at the top level.

Do you ever feel envious when you see the earnings the likes of Andy Murray can make from another racket-based sport? Was tennis ever an option? (No More Sweeping)

Tennis was never an option. I was always a badminton player. Badminton was in my family. I feel very lucky to have represented my country and it makes no difference to me if I’ve won £10m or one per cent of that because when I look back when I’m 60 or 70 I’ll have all these great memories. There’s no jealousy at all.


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