Battle for Bankier

MILNGAVIE’S Imogen Bankier and her mixed doubles partner Chris Adcock have got a tough first round draw at next month’s Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham.

World silver medallist Bankier (24) and her English partner were hoping to ease themselves into the championships, but instead have an opening clash with China’s top seeds and world champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei.

The pair lost to the Chinese in the final of the Yonex BWF World Championships at Wembley last August but have already beaten them this year, winning in straight games in the Victor Korea Open first round in January.

The British number one mixed doubles pair also face a tough selection for the London Olympics with next month’s event counting towards vital qualification points.

Their nearest rivals for the one spot available at the Olympics are GB rivals Jenny Wallwork and Nathan Robertson.

Currently Bankier and Adcock are ranked 14th in the world with Wallwork and Robertson 18th, so every tournament is crucial.