Team GB call up Adcock and Bankier for London 2012 badminton mixed doubles
Wednesday, 30 May 2012
May 30 - Imogen Bankier (pictured far left) and Chris Adcock (pictured left, far right) have been officially selected to represent Britain in the badminton mixed doubles at London 2012, fending off competition from Athens 2004 silver medallist Nathan Robertson and Jennie Wallwork.
Bankier and Adcock won silver at last year's World Championships, a tournament which also doubled up as the Olympic test event at Wembley Arena.
Their selection means that there is no Olympic place for Robertson and his new partner Wallwork.
Bankier was immediately looking forward to returning to Wembley Arena following confirmation of her place.
"I am absolutely delighted to become a member of the Team GB badminton team and I'm really looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd at Wembley Arena with the potential to hopefully bring home a medal," she said.
"We have worked really hard to acquire this opportunity and we intend not to waste it!"
Adcock added: "After a tremendously hard year of qualification, when I received my selection letter to say that I would become an Olympian at the London 2012 Games, I was over the moon.
"I had achieved one of my lifelong goals and now that I have been selected to represent Team GB, my focus is to put myself in the best position possible to perform at my optimum level."
The selections were made following the end of the year long qualification period for the Olympics, with Bankier and Adcock 10th in the rankings.
Also confirmed for Team GB by the British Olympic Association were Rajiv Ouseph, (pictured above, far left) 25, who grew up in Hounslow, near the Wembley Arena, and 29-year-old Susan Egelstaff, (pictured above, second left) who will compete in the women's singles.
Ouseph is a five time English national champion as well as a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, whilst Egelstaff won a bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Ouseph said: "Having grown up here it's even more exciting to be competing in front of a home crowd and knowing you have great support on the door step!
"The Olympics is a once in a lifetime experience and I'm honoured to be representing Team GB in my home city of London.
"I look forward to making the most of this unique opportunity and competing at Wembley Arena."
Regarding the news, Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said: "With the Games drawing ever closer it is great to welcome four badminton players as officially selected members of Team GB.
"Their addition sees the tally of athletes selected to Our Greatest Team rise to 121 from 11 sport disciplines.
"The outstanding breakthrough performances by Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier en route to winning a silver medal at the World Championships at Wembley Arena last August were a clear example of the tremendous positive effect that enthusiastic and vocal home support can have upon the performances of British athletes.
"We have a young and exciting quartet of badminton players who have never before represented Team GB at an Olympics.
"The British Olympic Association has worked hard with the National Governing Bodies to help prepare Team GB athletes for the unique nature of the Olympic Games.
"The badminton players will gain experience of a multi-sport environment at the Team GB Preparation Camp in Loughborough and will have access to the 'First Games Home Games' materials we have produced to help athletes prepare for what to expect from an Olympic environment, how to handle the pressure, and manage the distractions.
"With the nation's full support behind them, we hope they will be able to fulfil their great potential on the Olympic stage."
The GB Badminton Board nominated the athletes to the British Olympic Association following the end of the qualifying programme earlier this month.
"We really look forward to the next eight weeks of preparation and getting our players into peak condition ready to compete at the highest level," said GB Badminton head coach Kenneth Jonassen.
"This is a young team with huge potential and after a full year of very tough Olympic qualification everybody deserves to be a part of Team GB."
This summer's badminton tournament will take place from July 28 to August 5.
Britain has only won two badminton medals since it was introduced to the Olympic programme in 1992.