Robertson relishing brief spell away from London 2012 heat at nationals
NATHAN Robertson's Olympic ambitions might be back on track - but he is still relishing some time out of the London 2012 spotlight at the English National Badminton Championships.
AWAY FROM THE LIMELIGHT: Nathan Robertson is relishing competing at the English National Championships, an event that doesn't count towards London 2012 Olympic selection
It's been practically all doom and gloom for Robertson, 34, and mixed doubles partner Jenny Wallwork, since they crashed out in the second round of the World Championships last summer.
That setback was compounded by British rivals Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier taking an unlikely silver - a result that they have built upon, and Robertson and Wallwork, have struggled to deal with, in the following months.
However Robertson and Wallwork struck a key blow at the Malaysian Open in January, dumping Bankier and Adcock out at the first round stage before winning the Swedish International.
They still trail the duo in the world rankings leaving the battle fascinatingly poised heading into the last three months of the year-long London 2012 qualification window.
And, while the pendulum has seemingly swung back in Robertson's favour, he admits stepping out of the frying pan of Olympic selection in Bolton, is welcomed.
"The nationals are always quite a relieving tournament because you get to take a step away from all the travelling around the world," said Robertson - who currently sits 18th in the mixed doubles world rankings with Wallwork while Adcock and Bankier are 14th.
"I wish we had more opportunities to play in front of the British public really. I know from previous Olympic qualification periods how important a home crowd can be so hopefully they can spur us on to a good result again.
"I also got a taste of it at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester which was great and I know London 2012 will be ten times that atmosphere.
"I have always enjoyed playing at home and have managed to pick up a fair few national titles and this year is no different."
Robertson proves himself to be a master of understatement in his assessment of his achievements at the English National Championships.
Mixed doubles victory would put him level with men's doubles legend Mike Tredgett on 16 national title wins.
However, while a break from the jet-setting and high pressure existence that is Olympic qualification is welcome, Robertson acknowledges that ultimately it's all about London 2012.
"I know I am close to setting a new record in terms of a number of titles at the nationals and it is a nice thing to have on your CV is suppose," added Robertson - who is chasing his third Olympics appearance in the capital.
"But this year that is not dominating my mind, instead I am more focussed on getting back on the Olympic trail."
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