Britain's Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier had to settle for silver as their brilliant run at the World Championships ended in defeat in the final yesterday.
The unheralded Anglo-Scottish duo, having beaten four seeded pairs en route to the mixed doubles title-decider, found Chinese world number ones Nan Zhang and Yunlei Zhao too strong at Wembley Arena.
Adcock and Bankier, ranked 20, matched their opponents point for point throughout most of the first game but their week's exertions caught up with them as they went down 21-15, 21-7.
Nevertheless, the unexpected success of Adcock and Bankier has given British badminton a much-needed boost ahead of the London 2012 Olympic tournament, to be held at the same venue next year. The pair had been the only Britons involved in the championships after the second-round stage and their emergence as potential major world players has spared authorities another inquest.
Adcock's medal is the first by an English player at a World Championships since 2006, while Bankier has ended a 34-year wait for one for Scotland.
The pair are now firmly in the picture for Olympic qualification.Reuse content