Commonwealth Games boost for double winner Bankier

28/11/10'KELVINHALL - GLASGOW'Imogen Bankier in action during the Mixed Doubles Final of the Bank of Scotland Badminton Championships

28/11/10'KELVINHALL - GLASGOW'Imogen Bankier in action during the Mixed Doubles Final of the Bank of Scotland Badminton Championships

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Milngavie badminton star Imogen Bankier started her Commonwealth Games season in blistering form as she lifted two titles in Ukraine.

Bankier and court partner Robert Blair lifted the mixed doubles title at the Babolat Kharkov International in Kharkov on Sunday.

And just for good measure Bankier and Bulgarian partner Petya Nedelcheva took the women’s doubles title.

Blair and Bankier, who won the French International title last season, started the new campaign with an impressive run of wins in Kharkov.

The third seeds only dropped one game on the way to the final and that was in their opening contest against Russian qualifiers Anatoliy Yartsev and Evgeniya Kosetskaya before the Glasgow stars hit back to win 21-13 20-22 21-10. In the quarter-finals they defeated another Russian pair Andrej Ashmarin and Ekanerina Boltotova 21-19 21-17.

In the semi-finals they proved too strong for top seeds Nico Ruponen and Amanda Hogstrom, winning 21-13 21-9 to repeat their Sudirman Cup win over the Swedish pair.

The final challenge came against Danish fourth seeds Kim Astrup Sorensen and Maria Helsbol and the Scots came from behind to win 20-22 21-9 21-18 after letting slip a 19-16 lead and a game point at 20-19 in the opener.

In the women’s doubles Bankier and Nedelcheva, who won the Finnish women’s doubles last season, took the Kharkov title without dropping a game. After a first-round bye they defeated Elena Komendrovskaja and Maria Shegurova 21-12 21-6 then defeated another Russian pair, Tatjana Bibik and Ekanerina Bolotova 21-15 21-13.

The semi-final saw them down a third Russian pair when they toppled Victoria Dergunova and Olga Morozava 21-10 21-13 before romping to the title with a 21-11 21-12 victory over Helsbol and Lena Grebak.

It was an unlucky finals day for Helsbol, who lost both her finals – as did her partner Sorensen, who went down in the men’s doubles as he and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen lost to Polish top seeds Adam Cwalina and Przemyslaw Wacha.

Kieran Merrilees reached the quarter-finals of the men’s singles thanks to a fine win over French second seed Brice Leverdez 18-21 21-15 21-7. But in the last eight the Glasgow star fell to Russian fifth seed Vladimir Malkov in straight games.

To view all the results go to www.tournamentsoftware.com