Gail Emms

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Gail Emms
MBE
Personal information
Birth nameGail Elizabeth Emms
CountryEngland
Born (1977-07-23) 23 July 1977 (age 43)
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

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.

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 career[edit]

Emms attended the Dame Alice Harpur School in Bedford, a private girls' school. She and Nathan Robertson reached the semifinals 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 Olympics[edit]

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 Games[edit]

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 Olympics[edit]

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 career[edit]

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 life[edit]

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]

Achievements[edit]

Olympic Games[edit]

Mixed doubles

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

World Championships[edit]

Mixed doubles

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

Commonwealth Games[edit]

Women's doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2002 Bolton Arena, Manchester, England England Joanne Goode Malaysia Ang Li Peng
Malaysia Lim Pek Siah
4–7, 8–6, 6–8, 4–7 Med 3.png Bronze
2006 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia England Donna Kellogg India Trupti Murgunde
India Saina Nehwal
21–14, 21–9 Bronze Bronze

Mixed doubles

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

European Championships[edit]

Women's doubles

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

Mixed doubles

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

World University Championships[edit]

Women's doubles

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

Mixed doubles

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

World Junior Championships[edit]

Mixed doubles

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

European Junior Championships[edit]

Girls' doubles

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

BWF Superseries[edit]

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 England Nathan Robertson China Zheng Bo
China Gao Ling
12–21, 21–14, 15–21 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runner-up
2007 Denmark Open England Nathan Robertson China He Hanbin
China Yu Yang
17–21, 21–19, 17–21 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runner-up
  BWF Superseries Finals tournament
  BWF Superseries tournament

IBF World Grand Prix[edit]

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 England Joanne Wright England Emma Constable
England Suzanne Rayappan
15–7, 15–1 1st place, gold medalist(s) Winner
2002 Swiss Open Netherlands Lotte Jonathans South Korea Lee Kyung-won
South Korea Ra Kyung-min
1–7, 1–7, 1–7 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runner-up
2005 Korea Open England Donna Kellogg South Korea Lee Hyo-jung
South Korea Lee Kyung-won
Walkover 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runner-up
2005 Thessaloniki Grand Prix England Donna Kellogg Malaysia Chor Hooi Yee
Malaysia Lim Pek Siah
17–14, 15–8 1st place, gold medalist(s) Winner
2005 Denmark Open England Donna Kellogg Japan Kumiko Ogura
Japan Reiko Shiota
6–15, 9–15 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runner-up
2006 Denmark Open England Donna Kellogg Poland Kamila Augustyn
Poland Nadiezda Kostiuczyk
20–22, 10–21 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Runner-up

Mixed doubles

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

IBF International[edit]

Women's doubles

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

Mixed doubles

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

Record against selected opponents[edit]

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

References[edit]

  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 links[edit]