Adcock and Bankier face uphill task after losing opening clash to Russians
11:19 GMT, 28 July 2012
Great Britain's Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier failed to capitalise on a fine start as they were beaten in their London 2012 opener at Wembley Arena.
Adcock and Bankier raced ahead in the opening game of their Group A match against Russia's Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeria Sorokina, but their opponents hit back to win 14-21 21-9 21-18.
The Anglo-Scottish pair, silver medallists at the World Championships at the same venue last year, must now bounce back quickly against Germans Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels on Sunday.
Bad start: Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier lost out to Valeria Sorokina and Alexandr Nikolaenko
Having entered the arena to a huge roar from the near sell-out crowd, the world number 10s made a superb start against opponents ranked five places below them.
The Britons dominated the opening game, with Adcock continually punishing Nikolaenko for lifting too often by smashing down at Sorokina while Bankier took charge at the net.
Their fast-paced attacking style was well rewarded as they took the opening game in 17 minutes, but the Russians changed the tempo to control the second.
Sorokina came to the fore as Bankier faltered and the loss of six successive points early in the game put the Britons on the back foot.
With the momentum lost, the Russians
eased away to level the match but Adcock and Bankier recovered their
poise in a tight final game.
was little to separate the two pairs but Adcock and Bankier had the
edge until the loss of four straight points turned a 14-12 lead into a
Solemn: Adcock and Bankier will have to bounce back in their next group match
Nikolaenko and Sorokina did not relinquish their lead and went on to wrap up the match in 61 minutes.
With a match against top seeds Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei also still to come, Adcock and Bankier, who had realistic medal hopes, face a battle to reach the knock-out stages.
Adcock, 23, said: 'Obviously we're very disappointed. We came here for a win and we didn't get it.
'But it is a group stage and know that two wins can still get us to the next stage. That is the positive of the day.
'We started really well and the crowd were brilliant but they adjusted their tactics and we were unable to combat that.
'The third game got a bit scrappy and they came out on top.
'Ideally we wanted to win every game and get off to a good start but now we have to go back, recuperate and prepare for the next two games.'
Stretch: Bankier returns a shot against Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeria Sorokina of Russia
Adcock and Bankier had been expecting to open their campaign against the Chinese duo Zhang and Zhao on Sunday morning but the Badminton World Federation announced wholesale changes to the schedule on the eve of competition.
Because of an oversight, the initial programme did not comply to the governing body's own regulations for round-robin competitions.
The arena was also very warm for most of the morning session as the air conditioning had been turned off by organisers because of concerns it might affect the flights of shuttlecocks. It was turned on towards the end of the session.
Adcock did not cite either factor as an excuse for defeat.
The Nottingham player said: 'We found out quite early about the changes.
'A lot was made of it, after the draw was done the wrong way at the start, but that is the way it is.
Better luck next time: Adcock and Bankier acknowledge the crowd after their opening defeat
'As soon as we were told the schedule had changed it was okay, we just prepared for the first match.
'It was quite warm, all events under TV lights are like that, but it felt okay. Unfortunately we just couldn't come through.'
Glaswegian Bankier, 24, said: 'We had a great start. I think we were playing well and the reaction we got when we went into the arena helped us.
'We felt very positive going into the first set and won that quite comfortably.
'But, like us, they had a gameplan as well and they managed to combat ours.
'I found my job quite difficult at the net.
'The third set was back and forwards but we just couldn't get that run we needed.
'We're extremely disappointed but we've got to get over it and move on, get ready for the next game.'