Imogen Bankier

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Imogen Bankier
Personal information
Country  Scotland
Born (1987-11-18) 18 November 1987 (age 29)
Scotland Glasgow, Scotland
Height 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
Handedness Right
Coach Pete Jeffrey
Mixed doubles
Highest ranking 10 (5 April 2012)
Current ranking N/A (Retired)
BWF profile

Imogen Bankier (born 18 November 1987 in Glasgow[1]) is a businesswoman and former 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 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.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Bankier is right handed, 5 ft 7in tall and used equipment manufactured by Yonex, one of her sponsors. Her other sponsor is Glenkeir Whiskies which is run by her father, Celtic chairman Ian Bankier.[3] 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."[4]

As of 2016 Bankier resides in Paris, France, running a whiskey store on the Place De La Madeleine in the 8th arrondissement.[5]

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."[6] 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 sixteen Scottish titles, six coming in the women's doubles and ten in the mixed doubles.[7]

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 doubles 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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 [11] 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.[12] In that championship she won bronze medal, defeating the Malaysian pair Chan Peng Soon and Lai Pei Jing in the play off match.

Her most recent mixed doubles partner was fellow Scot Robert Blair and her women's doubles partner was Bulgarian Petya Nedelcheva.

In February 2015, after winning the Scottish National Championships in doubles and mixed doubles, it was announced that she was "taking something of a sabbatical as she tries to decide what her sporting future holds". Bankier stated she had decided not to try and qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as she said she was struggling to find a partner she likes playing with. She stated that she has started working for her father's whisky business, Glenkeir Whiskies.[13]

After the 2016 Nationals, where Bankier won her record[14] 10th consecutive mixed doubles titles. Before the match she was presented with an award for her services to the game by BADMINTONscotland president Dan Travers. Before the game Chief Executive Anne Smillie paid tribute:

"She is by far the most successful women's player Scotland has produced and has enjoyed a tremendous badminton career. Now we hope her new business career is just as successful. Today she is bidding for her 10th consecutive mixed doubles title to go with her six women’s doubles titles. But little did we know back in 2007 that Imogen Bankier would go on to become not just the best in Scotland but one of the world’s best doubles players."[15]

Achievements[edit]

BWF World Championships[edit]

Mixed Doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2011 Wembley Arena London, England England England Chris Adcock China Zhang Nan
China Zhao Yunlei
15-21, 7-21 Silver Silver

European Badminton Championships[edit]

Mixed Doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2012 Telenor Arena Karlskrona, Sweden Sweden England Chris Adcock Poland Robert Mateusiak
Poland Nadiezda Zieba
17-21, 21-17, 19-21 Bronze Bronze

Commonwealth Games[edit]

Mixed Doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
2014 Emirates Arena Glasgow, Scotland Scotland Scotland Robert Blair Malaysia Chan Peng Soon
Malaysia Lai Pei Jing
21-17, 21-11 Bronze Bronze

BWF Grand Prix[edit]

The BWF Grand Prix has two level such as Grand Prix and Grand Prix Gold. It is a series of badminton tournaments, sanctioned by Badminton World Federation (BWF) since 2007.

Mixed Doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2014 Scottish Open Scotland Robert Blair Denmark Niclas Nohr
Denmark Sara Thygesen
21-18, 21-14 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2014 German Open Scotland Robert Blair South Korea Ko Sung-hyun
South Korea Kim Ha-na
21–15, 21–18 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2013 Scottish Open Scotland Robert Blair England Chris Langridge
England Heather Olver
21-16, 21-14 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2010 German Open England Robert Blair Hong Kong Yohan Hadikusumo Wiratama
Hong Kong Tse Ying Suet
5-15 Retired 2nd, silver medalist(s) Runner-up
2007 Bitburger Open England Robert Blair Germany Kristof Hopp
Germany Birgit Overzier
17-21, 17-21 2nd, silver medalist(s) Runner-up
     BWF Grand Prix Gold tournament
     BWF Grand Prix tournament

BWF International Challenge/Series[edit]

Women's Doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2014 Spanish Open Scotland Kirsty Gilmour Bulgaria Gabriela Stoeva
Bulgaria Stefani Stoeva
14-21, 9-21 2nd, silver medalist(s) Runner-up
2014 Orleans International Bulgaria Petya Nedelcheva Bulgaria Gabriela Stoeva
Bulgaria Stefani Stoeva
21-14, 21-7 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2013 Czech International Bulgaria Petya Nedelcheva Scotland Jillie Cooper
Scotland Kirsty Gilmour
21-6, 21-14 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2013 Belgian International Bulgaria Petya Nedelcheva Bulgaria Gabriela Stoeva
Bulgaria Stefani Stoeva
13-21, 21-11, 21-18 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2013 Kharkiv International Bulgaria Petya Nedelcheva Denmark Lena Grebak
Denmark Maria Helsbol
21-11, 21-12 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2013 Dutch International Bulgaria Petya Nedelcheva Japan Rie Eto
Japan Yu Wakita
21-14, 18-21, 12-21 2nd, silver medalist(s) Runner-up
2013 Finnish Open Bulgaria Petya Nedelcheva Denmark Lena Grebak
Denmark Maria Helsbol
21–10, 21–24 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2006 Iceland International Scotland Emma Mason Iceland Tinna Helgadóttir
Iceland Ragna Ingólfsdóttir
21–16, 21-19 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2006 Irish International Scotland Emma Mason Netherlands Ginny Severien
Netherlands Karina de Wit
21-14, 11-21, 22-20 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2006 Norwegian International Scotland Emma Mason Republic of Ireland Chloe Magee
Republic of Ireland Bing Huang
21-16, 21-19 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner

Mixed Doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2014 Spanish Open Scotland Robert Blair Poland Robert Mateusiak
Poland Agnieszka Wojtkowska
21-13, 14-21, 21-16 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2014 Orleans International Scotland Robert Blair Denmark Niclas Nohr
Denmark Sara Thygesen
21-13, 19-21, 21-18 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2014 Swedish Masters Scotland Robert Blair Germany Peter Kaesbauer
Germany Isabel Herttrich
24-22, 14-21, 21-16 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2013 Irish Open Scotland Robert Blair Netherlands Jacco Arends
Netherlands Selena Piek
21-9, 19-21, 13-21 2nd, silver medalist(s) Runner-up
2013 Bulgarian International Scotland Robert Blair Poland Robert Mateusiak
Poland Agnieszka Wojtkowska
21-17, 21-15 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2013 Kharkiv International Scotland Robert Blair Denmark Kim Astrup
Denmark Maria Helsbol
20-22, 21-9, 21-18 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2013 French International Scotland Robert Blair England Marcus Ellis
England Alyssa Lim
21-17, 21-17 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2012 Finnish Open England Chris Adcock Denmark Anders Skaarup Rasmussen
Denmark Sara Thygesen
22-24, 21-12, 21-13 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2010 Italian International England Chris Adcock Estonia Gert Kunka
Sweden Amanda Hogstrom
21-14, 21-15 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2010 Scottish International England Chris Adcock Germany Till Zander
Germany Gitte Koehler
21-10, 21-12 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2010 Irish International England Chris Adcock Denmark Christian John Skovgaard
Denmark Britta Andersen
21-13 21-11 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
2007 Scottish International England Robert Blair Russia Alexandr Nikolaenko
Russia Nina Vislova
15-21, 22-20, 21-9 1st, gold medalist(s) Winner
     BWF International Challenge tournament
     BWF International Series tournament
     BWF Future Series tournament

References[edit]