Scotland: Scottish doubles specialist Imogen Bankier has retired from international badminton, admitting lack of motivation convinced her the time was right to call it quits.
The 28-year-old was Scotland’s most successful badminton player, and one of only four British players to compete at the London 2012 Olympics, playing mixed doubles alongside Chris Adcock.
Prior to the 2012 Olympics, Bankier and England’s Chris Adcock defeated four seeds before losing to World No. 1 pair Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei in the final of 2011 World Championships. The pair followed that with bronze at the European Championships the following year, but she split from the Great Britain programme after a first-round defeat at the London 2012 Olympics saying she did not believe it would help her qualify for Rio in 2016.
Bankier told reporter that her decision to hang up her racket was a tough one.
“It is not a decision I’ve taken lightly. I’ve taken almost a full year to contemplate while I’ve played a little bit and trained a little bit.”
“I’ve got to the stage in my career when I’ve achieved many of the goals that I set out to achieve when I was 10 years old and decided I wanted to go down the path of playing badminton.”
“I was professional for over 10-11 years. It is a long time when you are living it and I achieved so much early on and I feel like I’ve got to the stage where there’s nothing left that is really driving me forward.”
She has and has now decided to focus on her job of setting up a new Paris branch of The Whisky Shop company run by her father, Ian, the chairman of Celtic.
Badminton Scotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie also wished Bankier well in her new venture.
“The decision comes as no surprise as Imogen told me in the summer of her plans outside badminton.”
“She is without doubt the greatest player Scotland has produced and has been a true inspiration for the next generation of players that are now emerging.”
“We wish her every success in her new career.”