Badminton ace Robertson decides to hang up racket after glittering career
Tuesday, 05 June 2012
June 5 - Nathan Robertson, one of the elite group of England players to make more than 100 international appearances, has brought the curtain down on his hugely successful badminton career.
The 2006 world mixed doubles champion and Athens 2004 Olympic silver medallist, now 35, has decided to retire just two weeks after winning his 114th England cap at the Thomas Cup finals in China.
Robertson is best known for his mixed doubles successes with partner Gail Emms with whom, aside from Athens 2004 (pictured top), he won gold medals at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and IBF World Championships in Madrid, both in 2006.
The Nottingham-born player also claimed four Commonwealth Games silver medals, at Delhi 2010 in the men's doubles with Anthony Clark and mixed doubles with Jenny Wallwork, at Melbourne 2006 in the mixed team and Kuala Lumpur in 1998 in the mixed doubles with Joanne Davies.
He also has three Commonwealth Games bronze medals, accrued between 1998 and 2010, to his credit.
Among the other highlights of an outstanding career, Robertson and Emms claimed a gold medal in the mixed doubles at the 2004 European Championships in Geneva.
The rangy Robertson (pictured above with Wallwork) made his England debut aged 18 in 1995 and that was the launch pad which brought multiple tournament successes around the globe and three Olympic Games appearances for Great Britain.
Domestically, he was English national men's doubles champion nine times and mixed doubles champion on six occasions.
As a measure of his success the right-hander reached rankings peaks of one in mixed doubles and four in men's doubles.
Robertson's contribution to English sport was recognised at the 2010 Commonwealth Games when he was awarded the honour of carrying the Team England flag at the Opening Ceremony.
Unfortunately, he failed to make the cut for this summer's Olympics on home soil but will step into the spotlight for one final time when he runs the Brent leg of the Olympic Torch Relay on July 25.
"I've had a fantastic career in a sport that has given me so much, I've been lucky to have some great people to work with along the way, especially partners including Julian Robertson, Simon Archer, Anthony Clark, Gail Emms and Jenny Wallwork," said Robertson.
Emms, now also retired from competitive badminton, paid him the ultimate compliment: "Without a doubt in my mind Nathan is the best badminton player Great Britain has ever produced.
"It was an honour and a privilege to play mixed doubles with him."
Adrian Christy, chief executive of Badminton England, said: "Through the years England have produced some great players and Nathan is right up there with any name you can think of.
"He has done so much to put our great sport in the spotlight, not just in England but around the world.
"Nathan's decision brings an end to a remarkably successful era for English badminton following the departure of Gail [Emms], Anthony [Clark] and Donna Kellogg, and each of them has set the bar that is inspiring a new generation of talented young players."
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February 2012: British Badminton gets tough in London 2012 build-up
January 2012: Badminton star Bankier aims for gold at London 2012
July 2011: Exclusive - You must be at the Opening Ceremony if you want the full Olympic experience claims Robertson