Badminton Life

Excitement Abounds at the German Juniors

2008 has seen a whirlwind start to the year for the majority of badminton players and the same can be said for the junior badminton players with the recent German Junior event which took place in early March being the latest tournament featuring high drama and excitement.

The popularity of the event was shown with the fact that there were 94 competitors taking part in the Men's Singles tournament, with four young Scottish players helping to swell the ranks. The four Scots boys also doubled up to take part in the Doubles event so they were certainly getting plenty of opportunity to play.

Kieran Merrilees went the furthest of the Scots quartet as he reached the fourth round, defeating host nation player Tobia Wadenka along the way. This hard fought 21-15, 19-21, 21-14 victory was indicative of the tough matches that were facing the young Scots but Merrilees managed to follow on this victory with a triumph over Yohan Turlan by 21-11, 21-15 before Merrilees run was halted by Korea's Young Woo Choi.

Choi was ranked as the 9th seed going into the tournament and a convincing 21-15, 21-8 result emphasized the gulf in class between the two players although it had been a fine showing from the Scots youngster.

Angus Gilmour also managed to seal victory in his first match where a 21-10, 21-15 over Sweden's Mathias Lopez ensures the 17 year old Scot would gain at least one triumph at the tournament but this was followed by a three set match loss to Milan Ludik with a score line of 21-16, 19-21, 21-12 being enough to send Gilmour crashing out.

The two remaining Scots were both knocked out in their opening matches with Martin Campbell being defeated by Malaysian Iskander Zulkanain Zainuddin by a score of 21-18, 21-14 whereas Paul Van Rietvelde was quickly beaten 21-13, 21-11 by Emil Host from Denmark.

A similar fate fell on the players during the Doubles matches where Merrilees and Van Rietvelde managed to win their first match against home nation opposition before losing to Denmarks Host and Simon G Peterson. Given that Host managed to get the better of Van Rietvelde in the singles match up as well, it would be fair to say that the Scottish players would be delighted to see the back of him.

The mach against the Germans was another epic and the score of 25-23, 16-21, 21-12 indicated the thrilling and swinging nature of the match but it possible took a lot out of the Scottish players as they meekly surrendered 21-19, 21-15 to their Danish opposition in the following match.

Germany did get some measure of success over the Scottish team though as Martin Campbell and Angus Gilmour were defeated 21-18, 15-21, 21-18 in a close match by Julian Degiuili and Kevin Joss, which brought the Scottish male involvement in the tournament to a close.

The only way for young players to get better is through training and by playing against a better class of opposition and although there may be disappointment over the manner of the defeats,  there is every chance the Scottish players will bounce back to better things in the future after the experience of this tournament.

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