Adcock and Bankier shuttlecock it up as German defeat leaves hopes hanging by a thread

 

Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier saw their London 2012 medal hopes all but end as they slumped to a second defeat at Wembley Arena.

The Great Britain mixed doubles pair again failed to build on a superb start and went down 11-21, 21-17, 21-14, to Germans Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels.

They now have only the slimmest chance of reaching the quarter-finals, and it initially requires Russians Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeria Sorokina to pull off an unlikely win over world No 1 team Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei.

Out: Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier crashed out of the Games early

Out: Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier crashed out of the Games early

Adcock and Bankier would then need to beat the Chinese themselves in their final match of Group A on Tuesday and hope for another favour from the Russian duo.

It has been a disappointing Olympic debut for the Anglo-Scottish pair, who arrived with high hopes after reaching the World Championship final at the same venue last year.

Yet while Adcock and Bankier, 10th in the world rankings, fed off the support of the vociferous home crowd to establish an early lead, they were unable to maintain momentum.

Reaching the top: Adcock admitted he and his partner had fallen below expectations

Reaching the top: Adcock admitted he and his partner had fallen below expectations

As in their opener against the Russians, they played to their fast-paced, attacking strengths in the first game but were unable to adapt when their opponents slowed the pace.

Michels also started to control more rallies and although the Britons showed some resilience early in the third game, the Germans edged away.

Adcock conceded the pair had underperformed and was resigned to a premature exit.

The 23-year-old said: 'I'm devastated. This is the Olympic Games and we have lost two winnable games. We have worked so hard to get here and we knew we had a chance of progressing.

'We haven't done that now but we have still got one more game and we want to give the crowd that have worked so hard for us a win. I don't know whether we can progress - it is up to the maths to decide that, but we want to give the crowd what they want.'

Adcock was at a loss to explain how he and Bankier had allowed the German world number 22s to claw their way back into the 62-minute contest.

The Nottingham player said: 'I don't know, maybe it is something we need to look at. We've started brilliantly in the first two games and then not got off to good starts in the seconds.
'Maybe it is our tactics, maybe it is theirs.

'They managed to grind back into it and get their rhythm. I'm gutted, obviously.'

Meanwhile, third seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir cruised towards the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles.

Making progress: Suriname's Virgil Soeroredjo is out, but did his country proud

Making progress: Suriname's Virgil Soeroredjo is out, but did his country proud

The Indonesians, the reigning All England champions, ultimately made easy work of the world No 9 pair from South Korea, Lee Yong-dae and Ha Jung-eun.

Ahmad and Natsir won 21-19, 21-12, in 38 minutes to take the pressure off for their final Group C match against Danish world No 8 pair Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl.

In the men's singles, the Olympic dream of Suriname's Virgil Soeroredjo came to a predictably swift end.

The world No 240 was one of two players specially invited to play at the Games to promote the sport in developing countries. Unfortunately for him he was drawn in a two-man Group N with sixth seed Sho Sasaki and was beaten 21-12, 21-7, in 30 minutes.

Soeroredjo, 27, said: 'For my country, but especially for me, it's great I'm here playing in such a big tournament. Most people don't know where Suriname is. People are always asking where Suriname is. I laugh. Sadly I could not play a better match. Maybe next time, in Rio.

'I have never played anyone ranked this high before. I learned a lot, because I know now how hard you have to work to play against these players.'

Seventh-seeded Korean Lee Hyun-il also ended the campaign of Peru's Rodrigo Pacheco Carrillo in Group J, winning 21-12, 21-7.