The latest force in mixed doubles are definitely putting their stamp on the badminton scene

By Katie Garner

British badminton's best hope for gold

British duo Imogen Bankier and Chris Adcock managed to make the quarter finals of the Yonex All England Championships this year, playing against a Malaysian pair, seeded 9th. Although they lost the game (16-21 / 21-15 / 17-21), watching Bankier in particular was fascinating, and gives you the belief that maybe we could win some badminton medals come the Olympics in July.

Bankier was challenging at the net by being decisive and sudden with net shots, whether this was lunging for a sharp smash or a delicate tumble over the tape. I believe that the Scot is the stronger of the two, mainly because she thinks faster on her feet, while Adcock has the tendency to be indecisive; leaving shots that may or may not be out until the last minute before whacking them after all. Bankier’s cross court backhand smash was particularly impressive, winning numerous points for the pair because of the steep angle and quick movements. Adcock is a great player too, definitely playing a passionate game which can be seen through his smash.

An interesting note is that British pairings are still the only ones that mainly play ‘typical’ tactics of the woman covering the net and the man the back of the court, even when the male is serving. This isn’t copied by many of the Asian teams who seem to be more open to rotation and letting the women take a turn at the back – which is only too right as many of them are simply amazing.

Strangely enough, before every point, Bankier lets out a cry, that’s a bit like a bark. I don’t know whether it pumps her up, intimidates the opposition or maybe gets her in the zone, but it’s a quirky trait and I kinda like it.

I think this pair will be a stumbling block to the leading mixed teams come July and a force to be reckoned with, so keep your eyes peeled for the dynamic duo.