July 19 - Britain's Nathan Robertson (pictured), who won a silver medal at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, has claimed that the 2011 World Badminton Championships next month will provide the perfect warm up for London 2012 next year with both events set to take place at Wembley Arena.
The World Championships, the biggest competition in the sport outside the Olympic Games, are due to be held August 8 until14 and will be staged in the capital for the first time in the history of the event.
The competition will act as the official test event for the London 2012 Olympics and Robertson, who claimed gold in the mixed doubles at the 2006 World Championships with former partner Gail Emms two years after the duo took Olympic silver, is confident that he and new mixed doubles partner Jenny Wallwork can use the event as a stepping stone to gold next year.
"The World Championships is a huge event in its own right but it is being held in the same venue as the London 2012 Olympic Games so obviously all the competitors taking part will have one eye on the Olympics," the 34-year-old from Nottingham told insidethegames.
"We are focusing on the World Championships but at the same time we know it will provide ideal preparation for the Olympics next year, which are now the ultimate goal for me.
"I think Jenny and I have an outside chance of a medal if we play our best as we are still developing our partnership even though we have been together for two years since Gail retired.
"Jenny is still only 24-years-old so she is not at her peak yet but I am hoping that will come next year on the biggest stage of all."
Robertson, who also boasts a Commonwealth Games gold medal that he and Emms won together in Melbourne in 2006, admitted that he will retire straight after London 2012 and that he is dreaming of taking gold at the event to go out in style.
"London 2012 will be my last competition.
"It is the thought of London that has stopped me from retiring before now because the chance to finish my career at a home Olympics is a fairy tale ending for me.
"I have been to three Olympics before but I cannot even begin to imagine what competing at home will be like and getting my hands on that gold medal in London really is the dream for me.
"Right now we wouldn't be one of the favourites but everyone knows that being on home soil gives you a few per cent extra.
"I saw that at previous Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games that I competed in so I am sure that no one out there will want to play a British pairing because the home crowd can play such a decisive role at the top level."
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