MILTON Keynes-based badminton players Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier were left ‘devastated’ after their hopes of an Olympic mixed doubles medal came to an unexpected end.
The World Championship runners-up needed to beat Germany’s Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels, but they lost 11-21 21-17 21-14.
“We’re devastated,” said Adcock. “We played brilliantly in patches but couldn’t show the consistency. Although it hurts now, it will make us even stronger.”
An opening loss to Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeria Sorokina of Russia made victory over the Germans essential for the Brits. They began well but, as in the first match, lost the initiative, going down in 62 minutes at Wembley Arena.
The Britons play number one seeds Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei of China on Tuesday but cannot now reach the quarter-finals.
Ranked 10 in the world, Englishman Adcock and Scot Bankier made an impressive start against the Germans, moving confidently and building an 11-5 lead at the midway point in game one.
Left-hander Adcock displayed some subtle variation, combining powerful aerial smashes with deft drop shots, while Bankier dictated play at the net as the opening set was taken in comfortable fashion.
However, the momentum began to move the way of the German pair in the second, with Adcock guilty of some key errors. Michels went unpunished despite appearing to clip the net in one rally as she and Fuchs built an eight-point advantage.
The Britons whittled that lead down to three, but, after staving off two game points, the match went to a decider.
Fuchs and Michels quickly took command of the third game and, despite encouragement from the home crowd, Adcock and Bankier could not prevent the Germans prevailing in slower tactical exchanges.