RAVENSHEAD’S Chris Adcock was effectively putting his feet up last weekend, yet ended up with his first two English National Badminton Championships titles - now he’s ready to complete his two-pronged assault on the London 2012 Olympics.
The 22-year-old (pictured in action at the English Championships) is the current mixed doubles world silver medallist alongside Imogen Bankier, who represents Scotland, leaving Adcock to team up with off-court partner Gabby White at the Bolton Arena.
By his own admission it was a welcome distraction from the race to London 2012 – Adcock and Bankier are currently 14th in the world, four places above Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork and, as a result, in pole position for the one GB mixed doubles Olympic spot.
In the absence of Bankier and with no ranking points on offer, Adcock was freed from the shackles – and it paid dividends as he and White upstaged defending champions Robertson and Wallwork 21-18, 17-21, 21-14 to take the title.
While in practical terms, the result didn’t affect his Olympic chances, he did strike a major psychological blow to Robertson and Wallwork – even if he was playing down the relevance of victory.
“We’ve said all along that we would enjoy ourselves throughout this competition and that’s what we’ve done,” he said.
“Nathan and Jenny are a very good pair and if you let Nathan control the game then you’re in trouble, but we didn’t let that happen.
“There are a few tournaments left and we’re in a commanding position at the moment. The important thing is to forget about the Olympics and just take it game by game and point by point, then London 2012 will look after itself.
“It’s nice to come here and have the pressure taken off, but this year is all about the Olympics and that’s the main thing. But we have to take it one step at a time.”
While all the focus centres on the domestic mixed doubles duel and whether or not Athens 2004 silver medallist Robertson will get an Olympic swansong, Adcock is on course for another London 2012 appearance. In Bolton he also teamed up with Andy Ellis and they brushed aside all before them to claim the men’s doubles crown, easing past Chris Langridge and Peter Mills in the final.
At present, Adcock and Ellis are ranked 25th in the world – seemingly some way off the required top 16, but when Olympic qualification criteria is taken into account, only one entrant per nation unless that country has two in the top eight and at least one entrant per continental association, they jump up to 13th. And Adcock is relishing having two bites at the Olympic cherry.
“Myself and Andy are also in good shape at the moment and we just have to keep on plugging away all the way until the qualification period is over,” he added.
“The men’s doubles is so competitive, but at the moment it’s working in our favour and all we can do is perform as best we can between now and then and hopefully that will be enough.”
To experience the English athletes and worldwide Olympic hopefuls next in England, purchase tickets to the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships from 6th-11th March 2012 - by clicking here