Badminton Life

Female Scots do the Whitewash

With the English Womens team getting their Uber Cup campaign off to a 5-0 start, there was more great news for British badminton fans as the Scottish female team also managed to triumph by the same score line in their opening Group G match in the tournament.

Scotlands opening game against Slovakia, and whilst the Slovakians may not be on the fiercest opponents you could come up against, in a tournament environment the first game can always be slightly tricky so it was impressive to see the Scottish ladies outing on an impressive performance.

Notable stars in the rout were the veteran Rita Yuan Gao and the teenager Linda Sloan, proving that being of the age at either end of your career is no bad thing as both players managed to grab two wins apiece.

Yuan Gao would have been especially delighted to get back to winning ways after the disappointment she had suffered in the previous weeks Scottish National Open. Yuan Gao had played superbly and managed to reach the final in the Singles, the Womens Doubles and the Mixed Doubles but was the runner-up in all three of the competitions however she proved these reversals had no long-term affect on her with two impressive victories at the Uber Cup.

In her Singles match up with Kvetoslava Orlovska, Yuan Gao posted a 21-11, 21-15 triumph whilst in the Doubles tournament, she was partnered by Imogen Bankier as they defeated Gabriela Zabavnikova and Eva Sladekova by the score of 21-11, 21-13.

The other big points winner for the Scots team was Linda Sloan who battled to a 21-16, 21-14 win over Zuzana Orlovska and then paired up with Jillie Cooper to beat the two Orlovskas, Zuzana and Kyeotoslava. No doubt Zuzana Orlovska was glad to see the back of the Scots teenager who managed to defeat her in both of their match-ups. These victories at an early age can only bode well for Sloans career and many eyes will be upon her to see if she can maintain her early form throughout her playing career.

Scotland's other triumph to complete the 5-0 drubbing came when Susan Hughes had a convincing victory by 21-11, 21-11 over Eva Sladekova. Hughes is a Commonwealth Bronze medalist so there was no surprise that she was not fazed by the tournament conditions and no doubt her calming influence had a positive impact on the team.

The Scottish badminton teams always receive less publicity than their English counterparts, which is no real surprise given that the size of Scotland is around ten times less than its larger neighbour, but if results like this can be maintained then there is every likelihood that there will be much more focus placed upon the Scottish national badminton team.

There will be tougher games in the Uber Cup than matches against Slovakia but every game in a tournament brings its own challenges and difficulties and it was refreshing to see the Scottish team get off to such a convincing start.

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