Imogen Bankier wins top Scot of year award

Imogen Bankier
Bankier reached the world mixed doubles final. Pic: Duncan McEwan

Imogen Bankier has become the first badminton player to be named Scottish Sportsperson of the Year.

She held off the challenge of swimmer Hannah Miley and junior cyclist John Paul to be awarded the Lonsdale Trophy.

Bankier became the first Scot to make it to a World Badminton Championships final, winning silver in the mixed-doubles with Chris Adcock of England.

Commonwealth Games Scotland chairman Michael Cavanagh said: "Imogen has had a wonderful year."

Miley, who was awarded the trophy last year, won the silver medal in the 400m individual medley at the world championships in July and has been a permanent fixture in the top four of the world rankings for the past three years.

Paul has won the British, European and world junior sprint titles, leading to comparisons with fellow Scot and five-time Lonsdale Trophy winner Sir Chris Hoy.

"2011 has been another hugely successful year for Scotland's top sportspeople, which has made it tougher than ever to select one winner for this award," said Cavanagh.

"Imogen, Hannah and John are all deserving of their place on the shortlist, having delivered some incredible performances over the past 12 months.

"Imogen has shown great strength and determination to get to where she is just now and her mindset will no doubt see her success continue.

"Imogen is a worthy Lonsdale Trophy winner and I would like to wish her all the best as she looks towards London 2012 and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014."

Bankier received the award at the Commonwealth Games Dinner in Glasgow, celebrating the 1000 days to go mark until the senior Games take place in Glasgow.

She is the third woman to win the trophy, following in the footsteps of Miley and rowing's Katherine Grainger.