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Norwich badminton coaches prepare for crucial role at London 2012 Olympics

PUBLISHED: 18:10 12 January 2012

Badminton line judges Suzanne Benton and David Guy will be at the Olympics.  Photo: Bill Smith

Badminton line judges Suzanne Benton and David Guy will be at the Olympics. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

Two Norfolk badminton coaches will keep their beady eyes on the world's best players when they line up as judges at the Olympics.

David Guy, 52, and Suzanne Benton, 50, will go from coaching at Hellesdon High School to making calls on potentially game-changing decisions in at the world’s biggest sporting event.

Mr Guy, chairman of Tasburgh Badminton club which plays in Long Stratton, and Mrs Benton, who coaches at the UEA, will play a crucial role in London 2012.

As shuttlecocks smashed at 200mph come hurtling across the court, they will have to decide whether they are out or in.

Mrs Benton, a pig farmer from Hevingham, said: “When we heard Britain was hosting I thought ‘I would give my right arm to be involved in some way’. I would have done anything. I am totally excited. It is the biggest event in the world.” The mother-of-three said she has got used to the pressure of being a line judge since she first started in 2009.

Mr Guy, who lives in Honingham with his wife and two children, said: “I realised I would never get to the Olympics as a player but it occurred that judging would a good way of getting there. I was keen to see it at the top level and get to the Olympics.”

Mrs Benton had a similar idea and they started a line judges’ course, run by Badminton England, two-and-a-half years ago in the hope they would be ready for London 2012.

Both Mr Guy and Mrs Benton, who will be at the opening ceremony in July, have travelled across the country as well as to Austria and Belgium to judge at tournaments and build up enough experience.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Tom Bristow on 01603772313 or email tom.bristow@archant.co.uk

For the latest Olympic news see our supplement London Calling next out on January 31.

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