2000, Team GB on the podium
Date: 6/25/2021 12:24 PM
Published by : Rasmus Bech(BEC)

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics Europe claimed two medals for the first time at the Olympics Games.

The Olympic Games are always special, and so were the 2000 Games. The Sydney Olympics was the second Olympic visit to Australia, and the first since 1956, when Melbourne hosted the games.

Sydney won the election of becoming the hosting city in front of the 2008 host, Beijing, and the European bids from Manchester, Berlin and Istanbul, and for the very first time badminton players would be crowned Olympic Champions “down under”.

Team GB checks in
Until the year of 2000, Denmark was the only European nation to win a medal at the Olympics, but in Sydney two English Team GB representatives made history.

Simon Archer and Joanne Goode were seeded five at the Sydney Olympics but after wins against a Canadian pair, Dane Jon Holst-Christiansen/Ann Jørgensen and Chris Bruil/Erica van den Heuvel, the 1999 World Championships runner-up made it to the semi-finals.

Archer and Goode lost in three games to the top seeds, Tri Kusharjanto/Minarti Timur from Indonesia, and played Michael Søgaard and Rikke Olsen, Denmark in the bronze medal match up. The Danes lost the deciding game against Chinese legends, Zhang Jun/Gao Ling, with 17-16, and in the fight for the bronze it also went down the ladder.

- We went for it
Archer and Goode won the opening game 15-4, before the Danes bounced back winning 15-12 in the second game. For many people watching the match, it is still unknown why the Britons had the upper hand in the very final of the third game, but history was made, when Archer and Goode won the decider 17-14.

- We knew it was the last one and we really went for it, Goode said according to The Angus.

- It is such a proud moment for me. I cannot express just how delighted I am for British badminton that we have won a medal here. It is a massive achievement on behalf of the whole squad, and it shows that we have a sport that is capable of producing world class players in Britain, Archer added.

The Chinese wall
When you look at the women’s singles category at the Sydney Olympics, one of the first things that pops into your head is: That draw is tough.

The 1999 World Champion, Camilla Martin from Denmark, got her revanche against now Dutch Mia Audina. Audina, who in 1996 represented Indonesia and beat Martin, was beaten 11-2 11-1, before the 26-year-old had to climb not just one but two of the big steps of the “Chinese wall”.

Second seed Martin beat Dai Yun in straight games in the semifinals securing the first ever women’s singles medal for Europe, but in the final, it was not to be for the reigning world champion.

Gong Zhichao, with whom Camilla Martin had multiple battles on court, won the final in straight games, and Martin stood at the podium in Sydney next to three Chinese. The Dane was the only one who could make cracks in the Chinese wall. 

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