Ireland's Scott Evans plays against China's Lin Dan today. INPHO/Dan Sheridan

I didn't bring my A game, admits Scott Evans after badminton exit

“I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it now,” the Dubliner admitted after a memorable reception at Wembley.

THE OLYMPIC DREAM is over for Ireland’s badminton hopeful Scott Evans this afternoon.

The Dundrum man is said to have become the ‘most-watched Irish athlete ever’, having taken on world No 1 Lin Dan, in front of a massive Chinese TV audience earlier.

But the game’s superstar proved a class apart for Evans, easing to a 21-8 21-14 victory at Wembley Arena.

“What do you expect when you’re competing against the best ever player to play badminton,” Evans told afterwards. “If you’re not at the top of your game you’re going to have a hard day. And I had a hard day.

“You need to get to the top of your game when you play him and unfortunately I wasn’t at the top of my game today. My movement was bad and I made some wrong decisions and that was really, of course, that I was a little bit nervous but I was also extremely excited as well and that kind of made me a little bit too edgy. I’m extremely disappointed because I really, really thought that I would go in today and  give him a good run for his money.”

And as well as coming up against the game’s greatest exponent, he also had to contend with some dubious line calls from the judges.

“They don’t make a difference really. It’s also a little bit difficult for the girl to see anything when she’s wearing sun glasses. But it doesn’t really make a difference. They were quite close so what can you do?”

Despite the defeat, Evans can return to Dublin or his training base in Denmark with happy memories, having been afforded a wonderful reception into the arena before the showdown with Dan.

“It’s really difficult for me to describe the feeling I had when I walked out there” he told Will Downing. “I wouldn’t have the words to explain what it meant to me. I didn’t expect that the crowd would be great but I got a big shock when walked into the hall and heard that round of applause for me. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it now.”

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