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4 www.badmintonscotland.org.uk September 2011 YONEX BWF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS


IMO’S OUR


August 2010: Imogen Bankier and Chris Adcock have never played mixed doubles together. August 2011:


Unseeded Imogen Bankier and Chris Adcock stun the badminton fraternity by reaching the final of the mixed doubles at the Yonex BWF


World Championships atWembley. August 2012: Could Imogen Bankier and


Chris Adcock become British superstars at the London 2012 Olympics? Bring it on. It certainly proved to be an extraordinary few


days in London.While looters and rioters were making so many unwanted headlines in the streets of the capital, Imogen and Chris were cocooned in theWembley Arena making much more welcome news. As they swatted away seeds and rattled off


victories the excitement ballooned. It came down to one match for gold - and the world No.1 pair from China, Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, finally ended the Anglo-Scottish pair’s dream run. But the silver medals provided the perfect spur for the final eight months pushing for Olympic qualification. For Bankier, it was a place in Scottish sporting


history. The 23-year-old Glaswegian is the first player representing Scotland to reach aWorld Championship final. The previous best result was a bronze for Billy Gilliland and Joanna Flockhart in the mixed at the inaugural Championships inMalmo in 1977. Robert Blair did win a silver in the men’s


doubles in 2006 - but that was during his “between Scotland” period when he was representing England. What made the result more remarkable was


the fact that Bankier and Adcock went into the Championships as real outsiders. But last year’s Scottish International Champions swept past the eighth, 15th, fourth and second seeds and dropped only one game on the way to the final. Zhang and Zhao ended the dream of gold


with a 21-15 21-7 victory - and China completed a clean sweep of the gold medals, just as they did in Paris last year. But Bankier and 22-year-old Adcock have


confirmed they are ready to take on the world’s best and they now face a race against England’s Nathan Robertson, the former Olympic silver medalist andWorld Champion, and Jenny Wallwork, in the bid to represent Team GB at next year’s Olympic Games. TheMay 3 ranking list at the end of a 12-month qualifying race will determine who will play atWembley next August. For two pairs to qualify they will both have to be in the top eight and when you add Blair and


Bankier writes her name in Scottish sporting history at Wembley Arena


By ELSPETH BURNSIDE


his English partner GabbyWhite (Adcock’s girl- friend) into the mix as the third home pair in the world’s top 30, the competition to represent Great Britain at London 2012 couldn’t be more competitive. Robertson, the wily veteran, andWallwork


are a world top 10 pair, but they were dismissed in the second round atWembley and so will face real pressure to hang on to the British No.1 spot. Blair, of course was ineligible for the Worlds after his switch back to Scotland from England but he andWhite will be eager to make up ground in the autumn tournaments. For Bankier, it was easily the best week of her


career.On finals morning, she had tweeted that she didn’t want the Championships to end.


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