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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]

Imogen Bankier
Personal information
Country Scotland
Born (1987-11-18) 18 November 1987 (age 31)
Scotland Glasgow, Scotland
Height5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
HandednessRight
CoachPete Jeffrey
Mixed doubles
Highest ranking10 (5 April 2012)
Current rankingN/A (Retired)
BWF profile

Personal lifeEdit

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]

CareerEdit

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 with Robert Blair, 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]

AchievementsEdit

BWF World ChampionshipsEdit

Mixed doubles

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

Commonwealth GamesEdit

Mixed doubles

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

European ChampionshipsEdit

Mixed doubles

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

BWF Grand PrixEdit

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   Robert Blair   Niclas Nohr
  Sara Thygesen
21–18, 21–14   Winner
2014 German Open   Robert Blair   Ko Sung-hyun
  Kim Ha-na
21–15, 21–18   Winner
2013 Scottish Open   Robert Blair   Chris Langridge
  Heather Olver
21–16, 21–14   Winner
2010 German Open   Robert Blair   Yohan Hadikusumo Wiratama
  Tse Ying Suet
5–15 Retired   Runner-up
2007 Bitburger Open   Robert Blair   Kristof Hopp
  Birgit Overzier
17–21, 17–21   Runner-up
     BWF Grand Prix Gold tournament
     BWF Grand Prix tournament

BWF International Challenge/Series/European CircuitEdit

Women's doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2014 Spanish Open   Kirsty Gilmour   Gabriela Stoeva
  Stefani Stoeva
14–21, 9–21   Runner-up
2014 Orleans International   Petya Nedelcheva   Gabriela Stoeva
  Stefani Stoeva
21–14, 21–7   Winner
2013 Czech International   Petya Nedelcheva   Jillie Cooper
  Kirsty Gilmour
21–6, 21–14   Winner
2013 Belgian International   Petya Nedelcheva   Gabriela Stoeva
  Stefani Stoeva
13–21, 21–11, 21–18   Winner
2013 Kharkiv International   Petya Nedelcheva   Lena Grebak
  Maria Helsbol
21–11, 21–12   Winner
2013 Dutch International   Petya Nedelcheva   Rie Eto
  Yu Wakita
21–14, 18–21, 12–21   Runner-up
2013 Finnish Open   Petya Nedelcheva   Lena Grebak
  Maria Helsbol
21–10, 21–24   Winner
2006 Irish International   Emma Mason   Ginny Severien
  Karina de Wit
21–14, 11–21, 22–20   Winner
2006 Norwegian International   Emma Mason   Chloe Magee
  Bing Huang
21–16, 21–19   Winner
2006 Iceland International   Emma Mason   Tinna Helgadóttir
  Ragna Ingólfsdóttir
21–16, 21–19   Winner
2006 Hungarian International   Emma Mason   Ekaterina Ananina
  Anastasia Russkikh
18–21, 8–21   Runner-up
2005 Irish International   Emma Mason   Jenny Wallwork
  Sarah Bok
5–15, 15–3, 16–17   Runner-up
2005 Hungarian International   Emma Mason   Ekaterina Ananina
  Anastasia Russkikh
4–15, 15–10, 5–15   Runner-up
2005 Slovak International   Emma Mason   Nadieżda Kostiuczyk
  Kamila Augustyn
7–15, 3–15   Runner-up

Mixed doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
2014 Spanish Open   Robert Blair   Robert Mateusiak
  Agnieszka Wojtkowska
21–13, 14–21, 21–16   Winner
2014 Orleans International   Robert Blair   Niclas Nohr
  Sara Thygesen
21–13, 19–21, 21–18   Winner
2014 Swedish Masters   Robert Blair   Peter Kaesbauer
  Isabel Herttrich
24–22, 14–21, 21–16   Winner
2013 Irish Open   Robert Blair   Jacco Arends
  Selena Piek
21–9, 19–21, 13–21   Runner-up
2013 Bulgarian International   Robert Blair   Robert Mateusiak
  Agnieszka Wojtkowska
21–17, 21–15   Winner
2013 Kharkiv International   Robert Blair   Kim Astrup
  Maria Helsbol
20–22, 21–9, 21–18   Winner
2013 French International   Robert Blair   Marcus Ellis
  Alyssa Lim
21–17, 21–17   Winner
2012 Finnish Open   Chris Adcock   Anders Skaarup Rasmussen
  Sara Thygesen
22–24, 21–12, 21–13   Winner
2010 Italian International   Chris Adcock   Gert Kunka
  Amanda Hogstrom
21–14, 21–15   Winner
2010 Scottish International   Chris Adcock   Till Zander
  Gitte Koehler
21–10, 21–12   Winner
2010 Irish International   Chris Adcock   Christian John Skovgaard
  Britta Andersen
21–13, 21–11   Winner
2009 Finnish International   Robin Middleton   Vitalij Durkin
  Nina Vislova
18–21, 13–21   Runner-up
2007 Scottish International   Robert Blair   Alexandr Nikolaenko
  Nina Vislova
15–21, 22–20, 21–9   Winner
2006 Hungarian International   Watson Briggs   Vladimir Malkov
  Anastasia Russkikh
12–21, 17–21   Runner-up
2005 Welsh International   Watson Briggs   Valiyaveetil Diju
  Jwala Gutta
15–12, 2–15, 9–15   Runner-up
     BWF International Challenge tournament
     BWF International Series/ European Circuit tournament

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Bankier's profile on the Badminton England website".
  2. ^ "Tournamentsoftware.com". www.tournamentsoftware.com.
  3. ^ "Interview: Imogen Bankier, Badminton player". The Scotsman. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Plans for skimpy skirts for 2012 badminton get short shrift". London Evening Standard. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Interview: Imogen Bankier, l'as du volant experte en whisky". Le Parisien. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Page not found". www.badmintonscotland.org.uk.
  7. ^ "Error". www.badmintonscotland.org.uk.
  8. ^ "Results from the Official Commonwealth Games website".
  9. ^ "Tennis & Racquet Sports - Sport". visitlondon.com.
  10. ^ "Silver not enough to satisfy Imogen Bankier". 17 August 2011 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  11. ^ "London 2012: Chris Adcock & Imogen Bankier win GB place". BBC Sport. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  12. ^ Gillon, Doug (30 October 2012). "Imogen Bankier quits GB badminton team". The Herald. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  13. ^ Ferrie, Kevin (2 February 2015). "Victorious Bankier gives up on Rio Olympic dreams". The Herald. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Imogen storms to glorious final". Badminton Scotland. 7 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  15. ^ "BADMINTONscotland salutes Bankier". Badminton Scotland. 7 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.