Badminton Life

Scots Battle Hard in Austria

The only Scottish player who had entered into the Singles competitions was Susan Hughes and Hughes was ranked as the top seed of the entire tournament and did herself no harm by trouncing her first opponent, Mona Reich from Germany, by a score of 21-10, 21-14. Sadly, Hughes could not build on this victory and in the second round of the tournament was defeated by the Russian player, Olga Golovanova to the tune of 21-17, 21-18.

There may have been disappointment from the top seeds early dismissal but in all honesty, Hughes also lost some vital matches during the Uber Cup and whilst her defeat was unfortunate, it probably wasn't a major shock. Thankfully, Scottish pride was completely restored by the showing of Andrew Bowman, who along with his partner hailing from Wales, Martyn Lewis managed to progress to the semi-finals of the Men's Doubles events.

The pair had trounced the Czech brothers, Ondrej and Tomas Kopriva by a margin of 21-13, 21-17 and followed this by defeating Russian duo Andrev Ivanov and Sergev Shumikin by a 21-10, 21-15 margin and this result was enough to book the British pairs place in the semi-final.

Unfortunately, the duo were up against the second seeds and eventual winner in India's Fran Kurniawan and Rendra Wijava but after winning a set and pushing the third set all the way, the UK pair can definitely be proud of their achievements. When you push the eventual tournament winners to a score of 21-14, 19-21, and 21-19 then it is obvious the pair gave their all and defeat was scant reward for their efforts.

In another Mens Double pairing, Thomas Bethell and Watson Briggs also won their first round match 21-10, 21-10 against the Austrians Thomas Hahn and Daniel Samhaber but then came up against top seeds and eventual tournament runners up, Belgiums Wouter Claes and Frederic Mawet. Although they were to lose, the Scottish pair showed great resilience and were only eventually overcome by a margin of 21-19, 21-19. Evidently the Scottish team is capable of providing big game Mens Doubles teams and this showing bodes well for future tournaments.

Glaswegian teenager Linda Sloan, who proved to be one of the team's key players at the Uber Cup paired up with Jillie Cooper and after receiving a bye in the first round, faced off against the Swedish duo of Emelie Lennartsson and Emma Wengberg who scraped a victory by a score line of 21-18, 23-21. The tight score indicates the Scottish duo again played at the top of their game and can consider themselves to be unfortunate to be knocked out at the early stage.

With another semi-final being reached by the pairing of Watson Briggs and Jillie Cooper progress to the semi-finals of the Mixed Doubles event where they eventually fell to top seeds Wouter Claes and Nathalie Descamps, there was disappointment at coming so close with no real prizes to show for it but there was plenty to be happy about.

Two semi-final placings in a tournament is not to be sniffed at for a country of Scotland's size and there is every hope that the current crop of Scottish badminton players will continue this run of form and hopefully bring home some silver wear from the forthcoming summer events.

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