Olympic24: Bankier hangs up racket but Fox-Pitt back in the saddle

Olympic24: Bankier hangs up racket but Fox-Pitt back in the saddle

24 December 2015 / 07:51
Former World Championship silver medallist Imogen Bankier announces her retirement from badminton while William Fox-Pitt is back on the horse after recovering from severe head injuries. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours. 
  • Imogen Bankier calls it quits after losing her motivation to continue playing the sport
  • Eventer William Fox-Pitt goes for his first ride since coming out of an induced coma which followed a fall at an event in France
  • And there's a Christmas Eve competition for Team GB fans to enter

Bankier retires from badminton

Imogen Bankier

Imogen Bankier admits losing motivation convinced her the time was right to call it quits after retiring from badminton.

Bankier won mixed doubles silver alongside Chris Adcock at the 2011 World Championships and bronze at the European Championships a year later.

She also competed alongside Adcock at the London 2012 Olympic Games, although the pair were knocked out in the first round.

The 28-year-old will now pursue a business career, helping establish a Paris branch of The Whisky Shop which was set up by her father.

And she admits the decision to retire was one a long time in the making.

"It is not a decision I've taken lightly," said Bankier. “I've taken almost a full year to contemplate while I've played a little bit and trained a little bit.

“I've achieved many of the goals I set out to achieve when I was ten years old and decided I wanted to go down the path of playing badminton.

“I achieved so much early on and I feel like I've got to the stage where there's nothing left that is really driving me forward.

“It is such a hard lifestyle to maintain when you are not 100 per cent motivated and, when you have done it for more than ten years, it takes its toll.

“I felt it was a good time to call it a day and move on to something new.”

Fox-Pitt back in the saddle following injury

William Fox-Pitt

William Fox-Pitt acknowledges it was exciting to be back in the saddle after the British eventer went for his first ride since suffering severe head injuries.

Fox-Pitt, who is Great Britain’s most successful rider with 20 major championship medals, suffered the injuries after falling while on board Reinstated at the World Young Horse Championships in Lion-D’Angers back in October.

The 46-year-old was placed in an induced coma following the accident and was treated in France before returning to England.

But he has now recovered enough to post a 47-second YouTube video showing him riding around an indoor arena for the first time since the fall.

“Thanks you very much for all your support over the last few weeks,” said Fox-Pitt in the video. “I had a very exciting day today down at the stables with my first ride – I got that in before Christmas.

“I had to set myself a target and very happily I was able to do that. I’m looking forward to getting started and seeing you all again in the New Year."

And don’t forget...

Guess what happens next in the video and you could win a year’s free gym membership with Fitness First! Enter here.

Sportsbeat 2015