By Katie Falkingham, Sportsbeat
THIS year has already produced a European title for Chris and Gabby Adcock, and the English pair are more than ready to take their gold medal-success to World Championship level in Glasgow next month.
The married mixed doubles stars, ranked fifth in the world, enter the Championships having enjoyed a promising year to date, reaching the semi-finals of the YONEX All England and YONEX Sunrise India Opens, as well as their European triumph.
At the last edition of the World Championships, in 2015, their campaign was cut short at the quarter-final stage due to illness but they bounced back to clinch the title at the Dubai World Superseries Finals later that year.
And while the Adcocks may be one of the most feared pairs on the World Superseries circuit, they are only too aware of the challenge their opponents pose, insisting they will focus on each match as it comes.
“We’ll try to treat the World Championships as much like any other tournament as possible,” said Chris, who won a World silver medal in 2011 alongside Scotland's Imogen Bankier.
“You can rely on how the year’s been going if it’s been a good year, and you know that if you are up there in the world, you just need to keep doing your thing and hopefully it comes together on the day.
“We’ve had a really good start to the year, especially with that European gold. That was a massive box ticked off from what we want to achieve in our career.
“We’re feeling really good, and we feel that we are becoming a lot more rounded as a pair, and a lot more experienced in a number of areas.
“Hopefully going into big events like the World Championships, we can take that confidence forward. There are so many great pairs out there that we will still take it one game at a time, but hopefully we can build some momentum. Once you get to the semi-finals, it’s just about what colour.
“It would be nice to get ourselves into the latter stages again, and to get a medal with Gabs would obviously be really nice, to be able to share that moment together.”
There will be a sense of familiarity when the Adcocks walk out onto court at the Emirates Arena come August, a stage that has proven to be a happy hunting ground for the pair in recent years.
At the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Adcocks were crowned mixed doubles champions there, as well as picking up mixed team silver, and they can’t wait to be back.
“I haven’t played at the Emirates Arena since the Commonwealth Games, so walking in there I’m sure there will be a few spine-tingling moments again,” Chris said.
“It was such an amazing event and what we achieved there was such a special memory for both me and Gabs, so to go there again will always be nice.
“Hopefully we can make our experiences there even better with the Worlds. It will always have a special place in our hearts, for sure.
“It will be a big home crowd up in Glasgow and hopefully they’ll get behind all the British athletes. It puts a little bit more pressure on our opponents if they are vocal, which I know the crowd up there can be!”
The TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 will be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August.
It is being delivered by BADMINTONscotland in partnership with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council and with funding support from EventScotland and The National Lottery through UK Sport.
Tickets available at www.glasgow2017.com/tickets