Imogen Bankier

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Imogen Bankier
Personal information
Country  Scotland
Born (1987-11-18) 18 November 1987 (age 27)
Scotland Glasgow, Scotland
Height 5 ft 7 in
Handedness Right
Coach Pete Jeffrey
Mixed doubles
Highest ranking 10 (5 April 2012)
Current ranking 17 (29 September 2014[1])
BWF profile

Imogen Bankier (born 18 November 1987 in Glasgow[2]) is a female badminton player from Scotland. After starting playing the sport at the age of 9, Bankier won the national championships at every age level from Under 17 upwards. The highlight of her professional career so far was reaching the final of the mixed doubles at the 2011 World Championships in Wembley, London. She and her partner Chris Adcock were defeated in the match by the Chinese team of Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei.[3]

Career[edit]

Bankier started playing badminton at the age of nine in what she describes as "very competitive Bankier family games in the back garden."[4] Before competing at senior level in 2007 she won women's doubles and mixed doubles titles in the Under-17, Under-19, Under-21 and Under-23 age groups as well as various international open championships in doubles. Since making the step up she has taken a total of ten Scottish titles, four coming in the women's double and six in the mixed doubles.[5]

Bankier's first major international tournament was the 2008 European Badminton Championships in Herning, Denmark where she lost out to the English pair in the quarter-finals of both doubles tournaments. She returned to compete in the mixed double at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India where she again fell to an English pairing (who would go on to win silver) in the quarter-finals.[6]

Bankier's career highlight to date however came on 14 August 2011 when she won a silver medal in the mixed doubles event at the World Championships. In a surprise run, she and her English partner Chris Adcock defeated four seeded pairs before losing out 21–15 21–7 to the world No 1 pair of Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei in the final.[7] Despite being somewhat disappointed with her personal performance in the final, Bankier was quoted as saying that her play in the tournament as a whole would hopefully increase her chances of being selected for the 2012 Olympics in London.[8] She and Adcock followed this up a year later by winning a bronze medal at the European Championships in Karlskrona, Sweden. Shortly before these championships the pair broke into the Top 10 of the world rankings for the first time.

On 30 May 2012 she and Adcock were selected to represent Great Britain in the badminton mixed doubles at the 2012 Olympics in London [9] but were surprisingly eliminated in the opening round. On 30 October 2012 she was leaving the team GB training group stating "The GB programme is geared towards long-term development of a system for British badminton, but I don’t believe the environment and the programme at Milton Keynes are the best way forward for me, for Rio in 2016." This also ended her partnership with Adcock. She thanked the team for helping her develop as a player and stressed that she was not thinking of retiring but was joining Badminton Scotland to prepare for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in her home city.[10] In that championship she won bronze medal, defeating the Malaysian pair Chan Peng Soon and Lai Pei Jing in the play off match.

Her current mixed double partner is fellow Scot Robert Blair and her women's doubles partner is Bulgarian Petya Nedelcheva.

Personal life[edit]

Milton Keynes based Bankier is right handed, 5 ft 7in tall and uses equipment manufactured by Yonex, one of her sponsors. Her other sponsor is Glenkeir Whiskies which is run by her father, Celtic chairman Ian Bankier. Imogen was one of several high profile British and International players to speak out against the Badminton World Federation's plan to force female players to wear short skirts. The BWF claimed the move was aimed at "raising badminton's profile and that of women players" whereas Bankier hit back "I will fight to make sure this dated and simply sexist rule does not happen."[11]

References[edit]