July 28, 2012, by Fraser Wilson
Shuttlecocks at the ready: badminton build-up with alum David Mercer
After last night’s spectacular opening ceremony, today is the first full day of sporting action in London. All sorts of different events are kicking off – including the Olympic badminton.
We caught up with Nottingham alumnus David Mercer – the voice of the BBC’s badminton coverage – to find out about his preparations and the prospect of British badminton success:
You can feel the buzz
It’s 11.30 on Thursday and I’m in the Media Centre at Wembley Arena doing my homework before the start of the badminton on Saturday morning.
You can feel the buzz around the place with the volunteers all keen to help the international media and me. I’m catching up with some familiar faces from around the world, especially Asian countries like China, Indonesia, Korea and Japan, who expect to pick up virtually all the badminton medals.
Security is being provided by the Royal Air Force who are staying at RAF Halton, just a couple of miles from where I live. Small world! They’re getting used to my steel knees setting off the alarms and I’m telling them about the local pubs and the chippie.
The four strong British team seem relaxed and confident. We have an outside chance of a medal in the mixed doubles, as Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier are ranked 10th in the world. Hopefully they’ll be inspired by the home support.
For the first four days we start at 08.30 and play is expected to go on until 23.00. Long days but I’m not complaining. I’m going to be a small part of the greatest sporting event this country has ever staged, and I’m getting paid for it!
More about David
Find how sports-fanatic David graduated with a law degree from Nottingham in 1970 and ended up as a sport commentator by taking a look at our catch up with him in Exchange: Olympic Special: http://tiny.cc/UoNOlympMercer