Badminton Off to a Winning Start

April 5, 2018

Team Scotland’s badminton players were quick off the mark, winning both their matches on day one of competition. They wasted very little time in getting the better of Pakistan in their opening Mixed Team match. Setting the tone in the Mixed Doubles were Alex Dunn and Eleanor O’Donnell, the young duo racing through their match to win 21-12, 21-13, the first winners of any Badminton contest at Gold Coast 2018.

O’Donnell summed up their efforts: “The nerves showed a little bit right at the start as for both of us. It’s our first Games, so just getting out on court and playing our first match was good; we settled down well, got a good lead and won the match.”

Kieran Merrilees and Kirsty Gilmour made light work of their Singles matches to wrap up the best-of-five tie, meaning the pressure was off by the time the Doubles parings of Martin Campbell & Patrick MacHugh and O’Donnell & Julie MacPherson took to court to confirm a 5-0, straight games victory.

Back in action later in the day, Team Scotland took on one of the surprise packages in Sri Lanka, who had pushed favourites India hard in the morning session. With the same order of play as the  morning, the first game was always going to be the closest and it proved to be the match of the day as it went deep into the third game. With both sides having chances to win it, Dunn and O’Donnell were unlucky to lose out 17-21, 21-16, 25-27.

The Singles ties put Scotland back in the driving seat, with Merrilees and Gilmour producing business-like performances. Gilmour was a class above her opponent but Merrilees was playing quality opposition, straight after that roller-coaster Mixed Doubles game.

“That was a crazy game and it was hard to warm up,” he said. I was keeping an eye on the score but trying not to get too emotionally involved because I knew my game was going to be a big one for the team. My opponent was very experienced and I think at London 2012 he made the last 16 – he’s a lot better than his ranking would tell you, so I knew it was going to be a hard game and I wasn’t expecting to win as comfortably as that.”

Dunn was back on court for the Men’s Doubles alongside his partner Adam Hall, the duo in fine form and good value for their straight games win. With the tie in the bag and Team Scotland’s place in the quarter-finals assured regardless of the result against India at 14:00hrs (07:00 hrs in the UK) tomorrow, Gilmour and MacPherson won the Women’s Doubles to secure a 4-1 win on the night.

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