Debate has been raging on for months now regarding venue selection for badminton at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Games organizers want to host the badminton event at Wembley Arena, while the BWF has been pushing for a new venue. The All England Championships used to be played at Wembley Arena in years past, but has since moved to Birmingham.
BBC Sport recently spoke Neither Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork about the venue selection, and neither player seemed to be particularly concerned where the event was held.
Robertson was the silver medalist at Athens in 2004 with former partner Gail Emms, but failed to make it into the medals at Beijing in 2008. Emms has since retired.
Wallwork had the following to say about the venue dispute:
I think wherever it is it is going to fantastic. Everyone’s dream is to go to the Olympics and I really don’t think anyone is going to care where it is at the end of the day. People just want to compete and do their best, so for us it could be anywhere.
Robertson appeared to mirror Wallwork’s sentiment:
For players, Wembley has a lot of history. To win a medal there at the London Olympics would give it a bit of extra spice rather than in a new venue…. I honestly think that if the Olympics weren’t in London I wouldn’t be sitting here as a badminton player. My will to want to go and play at those Olympics and possibly medal is driving me on for the next two years.
Last month BWF President Dr Kang Young Joong was quoted as saying:
The Olympic Games is the pinnacle of sporting achievement and the BWF owes our athletes and its members the responsibility to showcase badminton to the media and the world in the best possible way.
The BWF hopes to have negotiations finalized with the games organizers at their next board meeting in Marc.