Badminton Life

Scots Ladies Do it Again

After an impressive opening 5-0 triumph against Slovakia, the Scottish female badminton team proved the result was no fluke by defeating Lithuania by the same impressive score line.

No doubt some observers would point to the quality of the opposition and make reference that the victories weren't as impressive as the score would suggest but in international sport, upsets and shocks can occur at any time so to win two games by a whitewash score is definitely encouraging.

In the same manner that they started their opening match, Commonwealth Bronze medallist Susan Hughes got the team off to a winning start with a 21-14, 21-16 victory over Akville Stapusaityte. With major tournament success behind her, a lot of responsibility was placed upon Hughes and both times in the Uber Cup she has not let anyone down. The decision to start both matches with Hughes has been very successful so far and no doubt the confidence shown by Hughes has radiated through to the rest of the line-up.

One girl who may lack the big time experience so far but who hasn't let anyone down in the Uber Cup, is 18 year old Linda Sloan who yet again triumphed, with her 21-5, 21-12 victory of Kristina Doyidatyte being her third win of the tournament.

Whilst Sloan may be showing the energy and excitement that would be expected of a teenager, the performance of Rita Yuan Gao are raising eyebrows with her level of consistency. Considering the veteran came out of international retirement to participate in this tournament, some observers considered she may struggle to perform but these doubts have been demolished as Yuan Gao delivered another two match-winning performances in the Lithuanian contests.

Considering Yuan Gao also played in two triumphs against Slovakia, she has now been triumphant in four games in the Uber Cup and the benefits of her decision to rejoin the national team has already paid dividends.

In her Singles match, Yuan Gao cruised to a comfortable 21-9, 21-10 win over Gerda Voitechovskaya and in her Doubles match up, the pairing of Yuan Gao and Imogen Bankier recorded a 21-7, 21-6 win over Dovidatyte and Stapusaitye.

The final Doubles victory was recorded by Hughes and Jillie Cooper with a 21-9, 21-10 victory.

No one in the Scottish camp is getting carried and making statements that they are going to win the tournament but these two crushing victories will have raised enthusiasm and expectation within the camp and the confidence ahead of the big matches to come will ensure that the team is capable of winning games to further their Uber Cup adventure.

The match against Bulgaria will be the deciding match in the battle to progress from the group and whilst it is expected to be a tricky encounter, the Scottish team is currently ahead in the standings by virtue of Bulgaria having dropped a game in their win over Slovakia. There may be very little to choose between the teams but the Scottish team will be looking to maintain their impressive opening form and continue their love affair with the Uber Cup.

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