Imogen Bankier (born 18 November 1987 in Glasgow) 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.
|Born||18 November 1987|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)|
|Highest ranking||10 (5 April 2012)|
|Current ranking||N/A (Retired)|
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. 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."
Bankier started playing badminton at the age of nine in what she describes as "very competitive Bankier family games in the back garden." 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.
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.
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. 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. 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 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. In that championship she won bronze medal with Robert Blair, defeating the Malaysian pair Chan Peng Soon and Lai Pei Jing in the play off match.
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.
After the 2016 Nationals, where Bankier won her record 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."
BWF World ChampionshipsEdit
|2011||Wembley Arena, London, England||Chris Adcock|| Zhang Nan
|2014||Emirates Arena, Glasgow, Scotland||Robert Blair|| Chan Peng Soon
Lai Pei Jing
|2012||Telenor Arena, Karlskrona, Sweden||Chris Adcock|| Robert Mateusiak
|17–21, 21–17, 19–21||Bronze|
BWF Grand PrixEdit
|2014||Scottish Open||Robert Blair|| Niclas Nohr
|2014||German Open||Robert Blair|| Ko Sung-hyun
|2013||Scottish Open||Robert Blair|| Chris Langridge
|2010||German Open||Robert Blair|| Yohan Hadikusumo Wiratama
Tse Ying Suet
|2007||Bitburger Open||Robert Blair|| Kristof Hopp
BWF International Challenge/Series/European CircuitEdit
- "Bankier's profile on the Badminton England website". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- "Tournamentsoftware.com". tournamentsoftware.com.
- "Interview: Imogen Bankier, Badminton player". The Scotsman. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "Plans for skimpy skirts for 2012 badminton get short shrift". London Evening Standard. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "Interview: Imogen Bankier, l'as du volant experte en whisky". Le Parisien. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
- "Page not found". badmintonscotland.org.uk. Cite uses generic title (help)
- "Error". badmintonscotland.org.uk.
- "Results from the Official Commonwealth Games website". Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "Tennis & Racquet Sports – Sport". visitlondon.com.
- "Silver not enough to satisfy Imogen Bankier". BBC. 17 August 2011.
- "London 2012: Chris Adcock & Imogen Bankier win GB place". BBC Sport. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- Gillon, Doug (30 October 2012). "Imogen Bankier quits GB badminton team". The Herald. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- Ferrie, Kevin (2 February 2015). "Victorious Bankier gives up on Rio Olympic dreams". The Herald. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- "Imogen storms to glorious final". Badminton Scotland. 7 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- "BADMINTONscotland salutes Bankier". Badminton Scotland. 7 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.