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Battle of the badminton blondes: Male doubles star dumps girlfriend in favour of her fair-haired rival

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Category: Badminton News Published: 07 March 2012
Posted by Hits: 666

 As a top badminton player it is understandable that Chris Adcock wanted to do whatever it took to get to the Olympics.

Unfortunately for his girlfriend, however, that meant ditching her as his doubles partner – in favour of her blonde rival.

Gabby White has been in a relationship with 23-year-old Mr Adcock since they first played together in junior championships.Drop shot: Gabby White, 21, has lost 23-year-old boyfriend Chris Adcock as her doubles partner after having played together since the junior championships

For years they were partners on court as well as off – saying their love made them a stronger team.Drop shot: Gabby White, 21, has lost 23-year-old boyfriend Chris Adcock as her doubles partner after having played together since the junior championships  Read more:

But last year, with the Olympics looming, the English hopeful was told to swap his girlfriend for another mixed-doubles partner to maximise his chances of qualifying.

And since he has been playing with glamorous Glaswegian Imogen Bankier, his career has gone from strength to strength.

He and Miss Bankier, 24, are now favourites to qualify for London 2012 – while Miss White is out of the running completely.

The 21-year-old made her feelings about her boyfriend’s new partner abundantly clear during a row on Twitter last month.

She accused her Scottish rival of being ‘sour’ after she said English badminton players couldn’t serve properly.

Miss White’s close friend and fellow player Jenny Wallwork, 25, then weighed in to support her – calling Miss Bankier a ‘cripple’ and telling her to ‘jog on back to Scotland’. Just ace: Mr Adcock is now partnering Miss White's bitter rival, 24-year-old Imogen Bankier

One badminton insider said the row exposed the simmering tensions between the two female players. ‘Gabby is obviously devastated that she’s not doing as well as Imogen,’ the insider said.

‘She and Chris are an item and had been playing together since junior level.

‘But it got to a point where they were not really progressing together – so Chris was paired up with Imogen.

‘Imogen has just got that little bit more experience than Gabby at the top level. Chris and Imogen have just gone from strength to strength together since then, whereas Gabby and her new partner have had some not-so-great results.

‘Unfortunately it now looks like Gabby is out of the running for London 2012.’ 

The players’ war of words began  when, after watching TV highlights of  the English National Championships in  which Miss White was playing, Miss  Bankier wrote on Twitter: ‘Just watched the English Nationals... Why can English people not serve?!’

Miss White responded by accusing Miss Bankier of being ‘sour’. 

Miss Wallwork also weighed in before Miss Bankier returned fire by saying the jibes were neither ‘intelligent’ nor ‘original’. 

All the female players have apologised. Miss White said the exchange was ‘bad judgment on my part’, Miss Bankier said ‘some friendly banter got out of hand’ and Miss Wallwork described it as ‘some light-hearted teasing that went further than it should have’. 

And last night Mr Adcock’s mother, Denise, 52, said her son had no choice but to play with Miss Bankier.

Speaking from the family home in Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire, she said: ‘It was Badminton England that made the decision to split Gabby and Chris’s playing partnership up. 

‘As far as I know, it didn’t cause any difficulties in Chris and Gabby’s relationship. They are as close as ever.’

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