Badminton star Chris Adcock said he was proud of his wife, Gabby, as she played through the pain barrier to help the Ravenshead couple win gold at the Commonwealth Games.
The Adcocks defeated England teammmates Marcus Ellis, of Huddersfield, and Lauren Smith, of Carlisle, 19-21 21-17 21-16 in a high-quality mixed doubles final on Australia’s Gold Coast.
The Ravenshead couple, who lost their first game, fought back to retain the gold medal they won at the 2014 Games in Glasgow, despite Gabby’s ankle injury that badly disrupted their preparations.
Gabby sustained the injury in January, which restricted her to just one week of full training before the Games.
Chris said: “I am unbelievably proud. Gabby has been out for almost the all year and hasn’t has two consecutive weeks of training all year, so to come back and do this… it’s hard to put words on it right now.
“We’ve had literally one week of training so it’s very special. Standing on the podium with the England flag going up is an unbelievable feeling. But doing it with your wife is something I can’t even explain.”
The European champions and world bronze medallists went out of the recent Yonex All England Championships at the last-eight stage, having entered the tournament to try to get into form after the disrupted preparations.
Chris added: “Gabby then had to have another week off because she hurt herself again.”
Gabby, who suffered the injury in the Indian Premier League, admitted she was far from her best, but said heart and determination dragged her through to the gold medal win.
“I was just so happy I could play after the time I’ve had,” she said. “I can’t thank Chris enough. He’s been amazing support throughout the year. When I haven’t been on court, he’s pretty much been playing singles for the last three months.
“I like to come into tournaments feeling prepared, so this (gold medal) has exceeded my expectations.”
The Adcocks led 12-3 in the final before their opponents rallied.
Chris said: “We came out in the third set and played pretty much the perfect style, the perfect game.
“We really put the pressure on them and then we needed that push in the end — it got a bit tense.
“They came out with nothing to lose, they are great players and they are showing that.
“We really needed to stay switched on until the end, which we did. It could have gone a lot worse but we luckily kept that two or three points gap.”
Gabby added: “The guys played amazing and I was pretty nervous going into it, not just because it’s playing your own team but because it was the Commonwealth final and trying to defend out title was a big thing for us this year.
“It felt surreal winning that match point, but they were outstanding today.”
The couple’s focus will now be on Gabby getting back to fitness ahead of the World Championships in Nanjing in the summer.