British Badminton pairs suffer Birmingham exit
March 9, 2012 20:53 pm
British interest at the Yonex All England Open Championships came to an end with quarter-final defeat for both remaining mixed doubles pairs.
Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier were the first to exit in Birmingham as they went down to Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh of Malaysia 21-16 15-21 21-17.
Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork were unable to take advantage of that slip-up by their Olympic rivals as they were overwhelmed in a deciding game by Indonesia's fourth seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir to lose 21-19 14-21 21-6.
The results leave the two British pairs - who would have met in the last four had they progressed - locked in a tight battle for places in the Great Britain team at London 2012.
The pair placed the highest in the world rankings published on May 3 is likely to be selected for this summer's showpiece at the other's expense.
The Anglo-Scottish pairing of Adcock and Bankier, the world championship runners-up, still retain the edge at 17th with veteran Robertson, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist, and Wallwork 19th.
After beating the top seeds earlier in the tournament, Adcock and Bankier began the day with high hopes but trailed throughout the decisive third game against their Malaysian opponents.
With big points available in the final Super Series premier event of the qualifying period, Robertson and Wallwork could have made inroads into their rivals' lead by progressing further. Yet after fighting back to level the match after letting the first game slip, Ahmad and Natsir upped their level in the third to power to victory in 59 minutes.
Robertson, 34, took positives from their performances over the week and pledged not to give up the Olympic fight, although he conceded time was now running out.
He said: "This has been our best performance for over a year and it's good to play well at the All England. We go straight to the Swiss Open next week. There are two British pairs in the running for Olympic qualification and we're still chasing. We need to maintain this level."
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