Scotland badminton stars Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier, from Milngavie, today threw down a Commonwealth Games medal marker with a stunning victory at the Yonex German Open in Mulheim.
The Scottish Open Grand Prix winners defeated England’s top seeds Chris and Gabby Adcock in a gripping three-game contest, winning 21-17 19-21 21-13 on their first match point after 58 minutes.
The contest would have been settled in straight games if the Scots had converted an 18-16 lead in the second game.
But the Adcocks won five points in a row to force a decider as they swept into a 2-0 lead in the third. But that was the only time they were ahead as Blair and Bankier roared into a 10-4 lead and never looked back.
Their victory over the highest ranked pair from a Commonwealth nation will have put them in good heart for Glasgow 2014. A good run this week will boost their ranking from No.19 in the world as they look to close up on the two England pairs and one Malaysian pair above them in the Commonwealth pecking order. The Adcocks are at No.5 in the world, the Malaysians Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying at No. 6 and England’s Chris Langridge and Heather Olver at No. 16.
All four players on court today knew each other’s game well. Indeed, Bankier had won a world mixed doubles silver medal with Adcock at the 2011 Yonex BWF World Championships at Wembley and Blair had partnered both the Adcocks in his doubles career.
The pairs had met once before, at the Yonex All England Championships in 2010 when Blair and Bankier also won in three games.
BADMINTONscotland Performance manager Gareth McKenna said: “It is a great win for Robert and Imogen against a pair in the top five of the world rankings and it highlights how well the work ethic of the players and that of coaches and support staff is paying off. It is vital that we now continue to focus on the rest of this competition and the qualification process for Glasgow 2014.”