England’s Chris Adcock and Scotland's Imogen Bankier had to settle for a bronze medal to go with their Yonex BWF World Championships silver medal after losing another three-game battle in the mixed doubles semi-finals at the European Championships in Karlskrona tonight.
The leading GB pair, who are No. 10 in the world rankings, went down 21-17 17-21 21-19 against Poland’s 2010 European silver medallists Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba while defending champions Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl lost to fellow Danes Mads Pieler Kolding and Julie Houmann 16-21 21-19 21-18.
Adcock and Bankier led 11-8 in the opener but the Polish pair, back to their best form after Zieba’s return from injury, turned it round to lead 12-11 and went on to take the opener
But Adcock and Bankier recovered by taking the second by the same score and it was anybody’s contest in the decider with the score 6-6 before Mateusiak and Zieba started to pull away and take a 17-8 lead.
Adcock and Bankier responded with five points in a row as they pulled right up and trailed by just one point at 20-19 before the Poles won it on their third match point after 58 minutes.
The Anglo-Scottish pair, who saved a match point in beating GB rivals Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork in yesterday’s nail-biting three-game quarter-final, will now wait to see if the 4,900 ranking points they won in Karlsrona take them higher than No. 10 in the world in next Thursday's rankings..
Adcock, the only GB player in line to compete in two events at London 2012, returned to the court with Andy Ellis to take on Denmark's top seeds Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe in their men's doubles semi-final.
The 2011 Yonex All England champions proved too strong for the England pair and ran out winners 21-11 21-14 after moving ahead at 4-3 in the first game - and staying in front.
Even so, the England pair have scooped vital ranking points to keep in the running for a men's doubles place in London and will try to build on that at next week's Indian Open Superseries, the final event in the year-long Olympic qualification period.
GB head coach Kenneth Jonassen said: "Chris and Imogen only played to 90 per cent of their capability. They ddn't really get it going.
"Chris looked tired after two tough quarter-finals yesterday and Imogen was not at her best either. The match against Nathan and Jenny was partly a cause of that. It took it out of them.
"But they were still able to challenge against the Poles, who are, after all, European silver medallists and have been as high as No. 2 in the world."
Of the men's doubles Jonassen said: "Yesterday's win for Chris and Andy was a massive one. We had targeted the semi-finals and getting there has helped their (Olympic) cause a lot.
"They are obviously disappointed not to beat Boe and Mogensen but they know they have got to play at their very best to be able to compete with a pair like that and tonight they were never really in contention."
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