Following news that he is to pair up with fiancee Gabby White in future badminton events, Chris Adcock and partner Andrew Ellis put a valiant effort in the final regular event of the BWF SuperSeries season in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, England’s entrants failed to create much of a dent in Asian supremacy once again.
Adcock has been in the news quite a bit lately after Imogen Bankier chose to quit the Great Britain programme and move back to Scotland to focus for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. In an interview with Sky Sports, Adcock, who failed to progress past the Olympic group stages like all other British hopefuls, wasn’t too downhearted; “”The results in London weren’t what we wanted but sometimes that happens, that’s life, but I am lucky enough to be able to hopefully have another chance of two, maybe even three, Olympics. Going to the Olympics, a home Olympics, was once-in-a-lifetime and what I achieved to get there- getting to the Games was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.”
Teaming up for the second time in a fortnight following a disappointing outing in the Li Ning China Open, Adcock and Ellis did much better this time around. In the opening match, they achieved a straight sets win against Indians Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu, beating them 21-18 21-14. Their opponents didn’t get much of a look-in in the final run and the Englishmen were rewarded with a second fixture against top seeds Kien Keat Koo and Boon Heong Tan of Malaysia. Adcock and Ellis have already played the greats twice this season and couldn’t puncture their resolute defence. This time, they were able to push the Malaysians in a 25-23 first set thriller, but capitulated to lose the second set 21-14. Adcock later took to Twitter, blaming himself for “sloppy mistakes” that may have cost them the match.
British Number 1 Rajiv Ouseph went out of a SuperSeries competition in the opening round for the second week in a row on Wednesday. His victor this time was fifth seed Sho Sasaki of Japan, beating Ouseph 21-13 21-16. It was their first meeting since the 2007 Dutch Open that Ouseph won. This Hong Kong reversal puts their head-to-head at one apiece.
With Ouseph out in the last 32 again, he seemingly goes home with nothing to show for his long-distance efforts. Adcock and Ellis, in reaching the last 16, get a share of $1500 dollars. The Badminton World Federation fail to mention their achievements for much of their news reports, showing just how far we have to go before we can make an impression on the world stage. The last BWF SuperSeries event before the Masters Finals now goes on without them, with the organisers hoping they can still retain the lofty status in the coming years following pressure from other competitions.
For now, British attention turns to the Scottish International that kicked off yesterday. Marcus Ellis and Gabby White are the top seeds for the event that also includes the likes of Kieran Merrilees. With White ready to move back into competition with Adcock, Ellis will also be ready to prepare for Rio 2016 with future partner Alyssa Lim. Other permanent couplings include Andrew Ellis/Jenny Wallwork, Chris Langridge/Heather Olver, Ben Stawski/Lauren Smith, Matthew Nottingham/Alex Langley and Chris Coles/Jessica Fletcher, although many of them have already worked together in the past. I only hope these partnerships will be good enough to get a good sequence of wins together and be able to make a challenge at the next Olympics and even the Commonwealth Games.