MILNGAVIE’S Imogen Bankier and her badminton mixed doubles partner Chris Adcock have been selected for the London Olympics in July.
The GB pair have been in the running for selection since they won a silver medal at the World Championships last August - despite only playing together for 10 months.
Their Olympic call up came yesterday (Wednesday).
Bankier (24) and Adcock beat their English rivals, three-time Olympian Nathan Robertson and his girlfriend Jenny Wallwork, for the only mixed doubles place available.
Team GB’s Andy Hunt said: “With the nation’s full support behind them, we hope they will be able to fulfil their great potential on the Olympic stage.
“The outstanding breakthrough performances by Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier en route to winning a silver medal at the World Championships at Wembley Arena were a clear example of the tremendous positive effect that enthusiastic and vocal home support can have upon British athletes.
“The badminton players will gain experience of a multi-sport environment at the Team GB Preparation Camp in Loughborough to help athletes prepare for what to expect from an Olympic environment, how to handle the pressure, and manage the distractions.”
Imogen, a former High School of Glasgow pupil, said: “Having such a massive milestone like the Olympics on the horizon has really focused us both. It feels like there’s a sense of urgency about our development as a pair.
“Because we’re so focused on the Olympics, it feels like we’re trying to make every day count. Our styles as badminton players are very compatible. We play quite an attacking style. Chris has some good angles at the back, he’s quick and covers the court well. I work hard to try and get the attack for him. We have good on-court chemistry and have a bit of a laugh and a giggle.”
Peter Jeffrey, who has coached the duo since they started playing together, said: “While most elite athletes would argue that luck has nothing to do with their success, in Adcock and Bankier’s case, it does.
“Adcock originally played alongside his fiancee Gabby White, but it was decided by the Olympic coaches that her style would be better suited to Robert Blair and they would stand more chance of qualifying for the London Olympics.
“As it happens, it was the pairing of Bankier and Adcock that proved to be the better combination.”
Jeffrey added: “Imogen and Chris are very confident. The World Championships result enforced their self-belief and now they know they can achieve big things in badminton.”
The Anglo-Scots pair have had to work hard for Olympic qualification with only two other pairs in the world’s top 10 playing more matches than Adcock and Bankier’s 19 tournaments this season.