Court queen is a Wembley wizard

Imogen Bankier
Imogen Bankier

BADMINTON ace Imogen Bankier celebrated becoming the first ever Scot to win a silver medal at the world championships in London.

Imogen (23), from Milngavie, competed in the mixed doubles at the Wembley Arena with Chris Adcock (22) from Warrington.

The pair, who have only played together for 11 months, have had an incredible journey to the final which culminated on Sunday afternoon when they lost to the top seeded Chinese pair of Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei 21-15 21-7.

The result means that China has won all five titles at the Yonex BWF World Badminton Championships for the third time - and the second year running after their success in Paris last year.

Imogen, the two-times Scottish International mixed doubles champion, said: “I’m absolutely delighted although I don’t really think it has sunk in yet. I’m just extremely happy because all my family and friends were there. It was really like being on home ground.”

On the opposition Imogen said: “They stepped up their game and are very experienced, winning many titles. On the day they were better than us.”

The sportswoman says she is now working towards next year’s London Olympics, adding, “I’m definitely on track and will be working hard to qualify and hopefully gain a medal at them.”

The Anglo-Scottish pair can be proud of their silver medal in a week when they toppled the world’s 15th, eighth, fourth and second seeds on the way to the final.

Reaching the final has guaranteed the duo a significant ranking boost from their No 18 spot to close in on the No 8 ranking of Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork in the year-long Olympic qualifying race.

Imogen, who was a key member of Team Scotland at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, said the experience of playing at Wembley will give the pair a boost, adding: “To play in Wembley and have this many games is really good for our confidence, especially when we look back and reflect.

“The atmosphere was electric. Hopefully all the GB players will up their training and it will be a good Olympic year.

“We hope to go one better next year. It’s a silver medal gained and a stepping stone to next year.”

Chris said of his Chinese opponents: “It was amazingly tough. We haven’t performed as we had in the last couple of days but it’s mostly down to them. They are No 1 for a reason.

“I don’t think we lost focus. It’s a world final and they had the experience.”