GB duo set to face old rivals

23 July 2012 / 12:14

Great Britain's top badminton medal hopes Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier face a reunion with world champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei at the Olympics.

The Anglo-Scottish pairing, the world number 10s, were beaten by the Chinese duo in the mixed doubles final of last year's World Championships, which were held at the same Wembley Arena venue.

Adcock and Bankier will also face Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeria Sorokina of Russia and Germany's Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels in Group A of the competition's round-robin stage.

The group stage is a new element for the London 2012 Games instead of the event being a traditional straight knockout competition. The top two pairs from each of the four groups will progress to the quarter-finals.

Adcock and Bankier will take encouragement from their recent record against top seeds Zhang and Zhao, having beaten them twice since their World Championship loss. The British duo announced themselves on the world stage last year, beating four seeded pairs en route to the final at Wembley.

There was an eye-catching draw in the men's singles as Ireland's Scott Evans was paired with reigning champion and favourite Lin Dan of China in a two-man Group P.

The match-up could not have been tougher for world number 76 Evans with Lin, although seeded second to Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei, widely regarded by as the greatest player of all time.

Britain's entrant Rajiv Ouseph, the 15th seed, was paired with Sweden's Henri Hurskainen and Kevin Cordon of Guatemala.

In the women's event, Scotland's Susan Egelstaff was given a difficult draw against 12th seed Sayaka Sato of Japan and Slovenian Maja Tvrdy in Group H. Chloe Magee of Ireland, the world number 44, will face Pi Hongyan of France, a quarter-finalist in 2008, and Egypt's Hadia Hosny in Group I.

There are 16 groups in the singles competitions with only the winners going through to the knockout stages. The competitions begin on Saturday with the playing schedule due to be announced later this week.