Ravenshead badminton star Chris Adcock and mixed doubles partner Imogen Bankier were left wishing ‘if only’ after bowing out in the second round of the mixed doubles at the Victor Korea Open in Seoul.
The Anglo-Scottish pair, who had defeated world champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei for the first time in round one, fell to the No.2 Chinese pair of He Hanbin and Yixin Bao 21-14 21-17.
Adcock and Bankier were never ahead in the opening game as the Chinese controlled play.
But the world silver medallists looked to be turning the tables in the second game when they opened up a 12-4 lead.
They were still ahead at 16-13 before the Chinese pair reeled off six points in a row to turn the tables and went on to book their quarter-final place.
Adcock and Bankier, who are No.16 in the world, won their first round game 21-19 21-16 after turning a 13-3 second-game deficit into the 14-13 lead.
The Chinese pair, who defeated Adcock and Bankier in the final of the Yonex BWF World Championships at Wembley in August, edged back in front at 16-15 before Adcock and Bankier reeled off six points in a row to take victory in 39 minutes.
That victory, their first in four meetings with Zhang and Zhao, will give Adcock and Bankier a big boost in their bid for Olympic qualification.
The Olympic mixed doubles race heats up even more as there was further frustration for Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork, who won the first game of their first-round clash with Maneepong Jongjit and Savitree Amitapai before the Thai world No.21s hit back to take the next two games 21-17 21-12 and repeat their Li Ning China Open win over the world No.23s.
Adcock and Bankier continue to grow their Olympic qualification points in their bid for the coveted mixed doubles place at Wembley Arena this summer.
And they must now regain their focus in time for next week’s Maybank Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur, where they face Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork in the first round.
l Chris is pictured, right, celebrating at the end of the first round win over the worl champions in Seoul.