Badminton: British sweethearts wedded to dream of Rio gold

Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:08pm EDT
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Concerned colleagues often warn of the perils of work-place romances but Britain's badminton power couple Chris and Gabby Adcock believe marriage has only made their on-court performance more harmonious.

The mixed doubles pair are Team GB's best chance of a maiden badminton gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and their relationship has gone from strength to strength since their wedding three years ago.

Not long after their honeymoon, the Adcocks upset China's London Olympic champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei to win the Hong Kong Superseries title and took gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow the following year.

In December, they became the first Britons to win a title at the World Superseries Finals in Dubai, the sport's equivalent to tennis's season-ending ATP World Tour Finals.

They head to Rio as the world's seventh-ranked pair, brushing off fears about the Zika virus and convinced that domestic bliss has given them an edge in their mission to win a medal for Team GB.

"I think it's really easy for us to read each other and how we're feeling, if one's a bit more tired or whatever," Gabby Adcock told Reuters in an interview in Sydney, with husband Chris perched beside her.

"So that's good that we can be honest with each other and we're working towards the same goal.

"We know if one's having a bad day the other one's got to be there to support and it does happen.   Continued...

Britain Badminton - Team GB - Rio 2016 Badminton Team Announcement - National Badminton Centre, Milton Keynes - 27/6/16
Christopher Adcock (L) and Gabby Adcock at the Team GB Rio 2016 badminton team announcement 
Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs