Gail Emms

Gail Elizabeth Emms MBE (born 23 July 1977) is a retired English badminton player who has achieved international success in doubles tournaments. A badminton player since the age of four, Emms was first chosen to represent England in 1995 and regularly played for her country until her retirement from professional sport in 2008.

Gail Emms
MBE
Personal information
Birth nameGail Elizabeth Emms
CountryEngland
Born (1977-07-23) 23 July 1977 (age 44)
Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England
Height1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)
HandednessRight
CoachAndy Wood
Julian Robertson
Women's & mixed doubles
Highest ranking1 (XD with Nathan Robertson)
Medal record
Women's badminton
Representing  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 2004 Athens Mixed doubles
Representing  England
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2006 Madrid Mixed doubles
Sudirman Cup
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Glasgow Mixed team
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 2002 Manchester Mixed team
Gold medal – first place 2006 Melbourne Mixed doubles
Silver medal – second place 2006 Melbourne Mixed team
Bronze medal – third place 2002 Manchester Women's doubles
Bronze medal – third place 2006 Melbourne Women's doubles
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 2004 Geneva Mixed doubles
Gold medal – first place 2006 Den Bosch Women's doubles
Silver medal – second place 2002 Malmö Mixed doubles
Silver medal – second place 2008 Herning Women's doubles
Bronze medal – third place 2008 Herning Mixed doubles
European Mixed Team Championships
Silver medal – second place 2000 Glasgow Mixed team
Silver medal – second place 2002 Malmö Mixed team
Silver medal – second place 2008 Herning Mixed team
Bronze medal – third place 2006 Den Bosch Mixed team
European Women's Team Championships
Silver medal – second place 2006 Thessalonica Women's team
World Junior Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1994 Kuala Lumpur Mixed doubles
European Junior Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1995 Nitra Girls' doubles
Bronze medal – third place 1995 Nitra Mixed team
BWF profile

Her best results were winning gold at the 2006 World Championships in Madrid, 2004 European Championships in Geneva, and a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games, partnering Nathan Robertson in the mixed doubles. At the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester she won a bronze medal with Joanne Goode in the women's doubles and won gold as part of the England team in the mixed team event. In the English National Championships she won the mixed doubles three times and the women's doubles twice.

Early life and careerEdit

Emms attended the Dame Alice Harpur School in Bedford, a private girls' school. She and Nathan Robertson reached the semi-finals of 1994 World Junior Championships held in Kuala Lumpur.[1] In 1998 she graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science from Kingston University.[2] After graduating Emms became a full-time professional badminton player with the help of national lottery funded grants paid to her by UK Sport.[3] Her father owned a building firm that collapsed in the recession of the late 1980s leading to a sudden decline in the family standard of living. Her mother, Janice Emms (née Barton), played for the unofficial England women's national football team. Her parents divorced while Emms was in her early teens.[4]

2004 Athens Summer OlympicsEdit

Emms competed in badminton at the 2004 Summer Olympics in women's doubles with partner Donna Kellogg. They defeated Koon Wai Chee and Li Wing Mui of Hong Kong in the first round but were defeated by Zhao Tingting and Wei Yili of China in the second round.

She also competed in mixed doubles with Robertson. They had a bye in the first round and defeated Björn Siegemund and Nicol Pitro of Germany in the second. In the quarterfinals, Emms and Robertson beat Chen Qiqiu and Zhao Tingting of China 15–8, 17–15 to advance to the semifinals. There, they beat Jonas Rasmussen and Rikke Olsen of Denmark 15–6, 15–12. In the final, they lost to the Chinese pair Zhang Jun and Gao Ling 1–15, 15–12, 12–15 to finish with the silver medal.

2006 Commonwealth GamesEdit

The 2006 Commonwealth Games brought Emms a silver in the team event, a bronze in the women's doubles (with Donna Kellogg) and a gold in the mixed doubles (with Nathan Robertson). An additional gold together with Robertson followed at the 2006 IBF World Championships.

2008 Beijing Summer OlympicsEdit

Emms participated in the women's doubles with partner Donna Kellogg only to be knocked out in the first round by the Chinese pair Wei Yili and Zhang Yawen. Emms then went on to win her first match in the mixed doubles with Nathan Robertson against the Chinese world number 2 pair. Emms and Robertson won the first game 21–16 before Gao Ling and her new partner Zheng Bo hit back to win the second 21–16. The British duo found themselves 12–17 down in the decider only to recover to win 21–19. Emms and Robertson lost out on a medal at the quarter final stage against the world number 10 pair and eventual gold medalist Lee Yong-dae and Lee Hyo-jung of South Korea.

Emms retired after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.[5]

Later careerEdit

After 2008 Emms started a portfolio career and has engaged in badminton coaching, motivational speaking, media activities, TV commentary and product endorsements. The latter includes work for SKODA cars and Adidas. Emms has worked as a TV presenter and commentator for the BBC, Sky and BT Sport.[6] She has delivered talks on performance, teamwork and gender issues at events held by many prominent clients including the Ashridge Business School, Sainsbury's and the Thames Valley Police.

In 2013 she was appointed to the Badminton England coaching staff with a remit to develop young female prospects and mixed doubles pairs.[7] But loss of financial support for badminton from UK Sport in 2017 resulted in cutbacks to the coaching programmes which impacted on Emms' position.[8] She has subsequently been critical of UK Sport's strategy in allocating funds, suggesting that its emphasis on elite level players and Olympic medal results is inappropriate.

Emms has appeared on the sports-based panel show A Question of Sport and is a regular guest on Fighting Talk. On 6 March 2014, she appeared on Sport Relief's Top Dog with her dog Raffa, a Westie. They won their heat, and went on to win the semi-final against Jenni Falconer on 20 March and the final, where they competed against Sally Gunnell.

Personal lifeEdit

Emms was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours.[9]

She gave birth to her first child, Harry, in March 2010 and to her second child, Oliver, in May 2013. In 2015 she was living in Milton Keynes with her partner. After retiring as a badminton player in 2008 Emms has periodically suffered from depression.[10][11] She has spoken about the difficulty many professional athletes have in adjusting to life after retiring from their sport while still young.[12]

Emms is a passionate supporter of Tottenham Hotspur.[13] She participated in the 2017 Great North Run half marathon in order to raise money for SportsAid, finishing in a time of 1 hour and 48 minutes.[14]

AchievementsEdit

Olympic GamesEdit

Mixed doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2004 Goudi Olympic Hall, Athens, Greece   Nathan Robertson   Zhang Jun
  Gao Ling
1–15, 15–12, 12–15   Silver

World ChampionshipsEdit

Mixed doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2006 Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad, Madrid, Spain   Nathan Robertson   Anthony Clark
  Donna Kellogg
21–15, 21–12   Gold

Commonwealth GamesEdit

Women's doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2002 Bolton Arena, Manchester, England   Joanne Goode   Ang Li Peng
  Lim Pek Siah
4–7, 8–6, 6–8, 4–7   Bronze
2006 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia   Donna Kellogg   Trupti Murgunde
  Saina Nehwal
21–14, 21–9   Bronze

Mixed doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2006 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia   Nathan Robertson   Daniel Shirley
  Sara Petersen
21–17, 21–10   Gold

European ChampionshipsEdit

Women's doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2006 Maaspoort Sports and Events, Den Bosch, Netherlands   Donna Kellogg   Nicole Grether
  Juliane Schenk
21–12, 21–10   Gold
2008 Messecenter, Herning, Denmark   Donna Kellogg   Lena Frier Kristiansen
  Kamilla Rytter Juhl
18–21, 18–21   Silver

Mixed doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2002 Baltiska Hallen, Malmö, Sweden   Nathan Robertson   Jens Eriksen
  Mette Schjoldager
5–7, 3–7, 1–7   Silver
2004 Queue d’Arve Sport Center, Geneva, Switzerland   Nathan Robertson   Jonas Rasmussen
  Rikke Olsen
15–3, 8–15, 15–5   Gold
2008 Messecenter, Herning, Denmark   Nathan Robertson   Robert Mateusiak
  Nadieżda Kostiuczyk
21–14, 10–21, 6–21   Bronze

World University ChampionshipsEdit

Women's doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
1996 Strasbourg, France   Tracey Hallam   Chen Li-chin
  Tsai Hui-min
12–15, 17–15, 11–15   Bronze
1998 Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey   Sara Hardaker   Chen Li-chin
  Tsai Hui-min
  Bronze

Mixed doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
1996 Strasbourg, France   Richard Doling   Kim Young-gil
  Choi Ma-ree
7–15, 15–12, 7–15   Silver
1998 Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey   Lee Clapham   Liang Yongping
  Liu Lu
  Bronze

World Junior ChampionshipsEdit

Mixed doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
1994 Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   Nathan Robertson   Zhang Wei
  Qiang Hong
14–17, 5–15   Bronze

European Junior ChampionshipsEdit

Girls' doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
1995 Športová hala Olympia, Nitra, Slovakia   Ella Miles  
 
  Bronze

BWF SuperseriesEdit

The BWF Superseries, which was launched on 14 December 2006 and implemented in 2007,[15] is a series of elite badminton tournaments, sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). Successful players are invited to the Superseries Finals, which are held at the end of each year.

Mixed doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2007 Malaysia Open   Nathan Robertson   Zheng Bo
  Gao Ling
12–21, 21–14, 15–21   Runner-up
2007 Denmark Open   Nathan Robertson   He Hanbin
  Yu Yang
17–21, 21–19, 17–21   Runner-up
  BWF Superseries Finals tournament
  BWF Superseries tournament

IBF World Grand PrixEdit

The World Badminton Grand Prix has been sanctioned by the International Badminton Federation from 1983 to 2006.

Women's doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2000 U.S. Open   Joanne Wright   Emma Constable
  Suzanne Rayappan
15–7, 15–1   Winner
2002 Swiss Open   Lotte Jonathans   Lee Kyung-won
  Ra Kyung-min
1–7, 1–7, 1–7   Runner-up
2005 Korea Open   Donna Kellogg   Lee Hyo-jung
  Lee Kyung-won
Walkover   Runner-up
2005 Thessaloniki Grand Prix   Donna Kellogg   Chor Hooi Yee
  Lim Pek Siah
17–14, 15–8   Winner
2005 Denmark Open   Donna Kellogg   Kumiko Ogura
  Reiko Shiota
6–15, 9–15   Runner-up
2006 Denmark Open   Donna Kellogg   Kamila Augustyn
  Nadiezda Kostiuczyk
20–22, 10–21   Runner-up

Mixed doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2000 U.S. Open   Ian Sullivan   Jonas Rasmussen
  Jane F. Bramsen
15–8, 11–15, 13–15   Runner-up
2000 German Open   Ian Sullivan   Jonas Rasmussen
  Jane F. Bramsen
3–15, 15–7, 4–15   Runner-up
2001 Dutch Open   Nathan Robertson   Chris Bruil
  Lotte Jonathans
7–5, 3–7, 7–3, 7–4   Winner
2001 Denmark Open   Nathan Robertson   Tri Kusharjanto
  Emma Ermawati
5–7, 1–7, 4–7   Runner-up
2002 Malaysia Open   Nathan Robertson   Wang Wei
  Zhang Yawen
11–9, 11–4   Winner
2002 Singapore Open   Nathan Robertson   Kim Dong-moon
  Ra Kyung-min
2–11, 10–13   Runner-up
2003 Thailand Open   Nathan Robertson   Chen Qiqiu
  Zhao Tingting
4–11, 11–8, 0–11   Runner-up
2003 Malaysia Open   Nathan Robertson   Kim Dong-moon
  Ra Kyung-min
6–15, 5–15   Runner-up
2004 Thailand Open   Nathan Robertson   Sudket Prapakamol
  Saralee Thungthongkam
8–15, 15–12, 15–11   Winner
2004 Denmark Open   Nathan Robertson   Chen Qiqiu
  Zhao Tingting
4–15, 11–15   Runner-up
2005 German Open   Nathan Robertson   Lee Jae-jin
  Lee Hyo-jung
12–15, 14–17   Runner-up
2005 All England Open   Nathan Robertson   Thomas Laybourn
  Kamilla Rytter Juhl
15–10, 15–12   Winner
2005 Swiss Open   Nathan Robertson   Nova Widianto
  Liliyana Natsir
17–14, 15–6   Winner
2005 Hong Kong Open   Nathan Robertson   Xie Zhongbo
  Zhang Yawen
8–15, 5–15   Runner-up
2005 China Open   Nathan Robertson   Lee Jae-jin
  Lee Hyo-jung
15–10, 15–10   Winner
2006 Swiss Open   Nathan Robertson   Robert Blair
  Natalie Munt
14–17, 15–7, 15–2   Winner
2006 All England Open   Nathan Robertson   Zhang Jun
  Gao Ling
15–12, 14–17, 1–15   Runner-up
2006 Singapore Open   Nathan Robertson   Nova Widianto
  Liliyana Natsir
16–21, 22–20, 21–23   Runner-up

IBF InternationalEdit

Women's doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
1995 Welsh International   Lotte Jonathans   Elena Rybkina
  Marina Yakusheva
8–15, 4–15   Runner-up
1997 Austrian International   Joanne Wright   Karen Neumann
  Nicol Pitro
3–15, 15–10, 8–15   Runner-up
1997 Czech International   Rebecca Pantaney   Judith Baumeyer
  Santi Wibowo
9–2, 9–5, 9–1   Winner
1997 Norwegian International   Rebecca Pantaney   Jane F. Bramsen
  Christina Sørensen
5–9, 6–9, 2–9   Runner-up
1998 Czech International   Joanne Wright   Lorraine Cole
  Tracy Dineen
7–15, 6–15   Runner-up
1998 Irish International   Joanne Wright   Keelin Fox
  Sonya McGinn
17–16, 15–10   Winner
1999 Spanish International   Joanne Davies   Takae Masumo
  Chikako Nakayama
12–15, 11–15   Runner-up
1999 Welsh International   Joanne Wright   Irina Ruslyakova
  Marina Yakusheva
14–17, 14–17   Runner-up
2000 Welsh International   Joanne Wright   Ella Miles
  Sara Sankey
6–8, 4–7, 8–6, –   Runner-up

Mixed doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
1995 Hungarian International   Nathan Robertson   Jürgen Koch
  Irina Serova
6–15, 8–15   Runner-up
1995 Irish International   Nathan Robertson   Julian Robertson
  Lorraine Cole
4–15, 4–15   Runner-up
1996 Portugal International   Nathan Robertson   James Anderson
  Emma Constable
12–15, 15–13, 18–13   Winner
1996 Norwegian International   Julian Robertson   Jonas Rasmussen
  Ann-Lou Jørgensen
9–6, 2–9, 9–5, 9–5   Winner
1997 Czech International   Ian Sullivan   Henrik Andersson
  Johanna Persson
11–8, 9–4, 9–3   Winner
1997 Welsh International   Ian Sullivan   James Anderson
  Sara Sankey
6–15, 14–17   Runner-up
1998 Czech International   Ian Sullivan   Anthony Clark
  Lorraine Cole
4–15, 13–15   Runner-up
1998 Scottish International   Ian Sullivan   Michael Lamp
  Mette Schjoldager
10–15, 15–11, 12–15   Runner-up
1999 Portugal International   Ian Sullivan   Björn Siegemund
  Karen Neumann
11–15, 15–12, 8–15   Runner-up
1999 French Open   Ian Sullivan   Chen Gang
  Qin Yiyuan
12–15, 12–15   Runner-up
1999 Australian International   Chris Hunt   Michael Keck
  Erica van den Heuvel
9–15, 10–15   Runner-up
1999 Spanish International   Ian Sullivan   Fredrik Bergström
  Jenny Karlsson
7–15, 15–13, 15–10   Winner
2000 Welsh International   Anthony Clark   Henrik Andersson
  Johanna Persson
7–4, 7–1, 7–0   Winner
2002 BMW Open International   Nathan Robertson   Mathias Boe
  Rikke Olsen
11–9, 3–11, 11–9   Winner

Record against selected opponentsEdit

Mixed doubles results with former partner Nathan Robertson against Superseries finalists, World Championships Semi-finalists, and Olympic quarterfinalists.[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Yiew Loong falls after fight". Straits Times. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  2. ^ Kingston University alumni profiles
  3. ^ Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2017 a hobby sport
  4. ^ Women's Sport Trust Gail Emms
  5. ^ "Emms to quit after Beijing Games". BBC Sport. 6 June 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  6. ^ D&D promotional website
  7. ^ Daily Telegraph 22 October 2013, 'Sport in Brief'
  8. ^ Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2017 a hobby sport
  9. ^ "No. 59090". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 June 2009. p. 16.
  10. ^ Daily Mirror 21 March 2015 Olympic hero Gail Emms on depression
  11. ^ The Mixed Zone 2 August 2017 I'm ashamed to admin I'm struggling
  12. ^ The Guardian, 10 October 2017 I lost my identity in badminton
  13. ^ Gail Emms (20 November 2010). "Passions Gail Emms Tottenham Hotspur". The Times. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  14. ^ The Great Run Company website
  15. ^ "BWF Launches Super Series". Badminton Australia. 15 December 2006. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007.
  16. ^ Tournament results

External linksEdit