LONDON 2012 – No more Clark and Robertson

Nathan Robertson and Anthony Clark (photo) will take separate ways to hopefully participate in their own Olympics, in London 2012. This decision of the split up between the two long-time […]

Nathan Robertson and Anthony Clark (photo) will take separate ways to hopefully participate in their own , in London 2012. This decision of the split up between the two long-time friends  came as one of the decisions taken by GB Badminton and announced together with a cut in UK badminton’s funding.

Raphaël Sachetat, with Press Release. Photo: Badmintonphoto

They had gotten back together for the fun of it, but it wasn’t meant to last long. Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson, who stunned the badminton world by returning together as a pair with a bang when they scooped the 2009 Singapore Open Super Series title, will no longer be playing together – in a competitive way at least. The officials of GB badminton have announced that the duo was to split right away in order to each concentrate on one event only: Nathan Robertson will continue his journey with  Jenny Wallwork – a which has shown much improvement in the past year with a silver at the Commonwealth Games and a career high at #5 in the world rankings – while Anthony Clark will partner Chris Langridge in men’s doubles.

This means that Clark will probably no longer play with Heather Olver in the mixed doubles in order to put all chances on his side to make it to London Olympic’s shortlist of qualifiers.  Oddly enough, Clark and Langridge were side by side in the latest world ranking, as the youngster had just overtaken his elder but new partner Clark, sitting with Robin Middleton at the world’s 33rd spot while Clark and Robertson are at number 34. Clark and Langrigde (photo) are no strangers, however, as they had already played together during the 2010 European Team Championships.

14% Funding cut

The announcement of the split didn’t come alone as GB Badminton also made public a cut in its funding for the two years to come, with a £541,700 reduction in funding over the final two years of the current program – equivalent to a 14% decrease (from a budget of £3.9m to £3.4m)

The cut was decided during UK Sport’s Annual Investment Review as a result of a lack of results in the Podium funded athlete places – they had had 11 medals previously and dropped to 6 only, with some disappointing results in the Paris World Championships.

Nevertheless, Badminton England’s Chief Executive Adrian Christy took the decision as a challenge, highlighting the fact that the investment towards youngsters will be one of the major focuses next in order to prepare 2016 already.

Whilst the outcome of the Investment Review is disappointing, we believe it is a fair reflection on recent world level performances overall. Of course we all hope we can maximise qualification in 2012 and deliver medal performances but we are also aware of the critical opportunity to focus this investment on the future and the group of tremendous young talent we have.

We will therefore target our resources exclusively on medal potential for 2012, and those where the London Games will be a fabulous learning experience as they look for podium places in 2016,” said Badminton England’s Chief Executive.

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.