Created on 04 July 2014
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Paul VPaul Van Rietvelde is sure to confuse a few people at the Commonwealth Games. His accreditation photo was taken when he had a big, bushy beard. 

Now clean shaven, he’s hoping to perplex his on-court opponents with a multitude of skills at Glasgow 2014. The goal is to help Scotland challenge for a team medal and work some magic in the individual doubles events.

Based in Milton Keynes with the GB squad, the Longniddry youngster returned home just over a week ago to join his Team Scotland members and enjoy the final push before the 11 days of the badminton programme at The Emirates Arena. 

“It’s great to get back and to work with my doubles partners, Robert Blair and Jillie Cooper,” he said. “I don’t work with them a lot so it’s good to get in some final preparations for the Games.”

Paul VPaul Van Rietvelde is sure to confuse a few people at the Commonwealth Games. His accreditation photo was taken when he had a big, bushy beard.

Now clean shaven, he’s hoping to perplex his on-court opponents with a multitude of skills at Glasgow 2014. The goal is to help Scotland challenge for a team medal and work some magic in the individual doubles events.

Based in Milton Keynes with the GB squad, the Longniddry youngster returned home just over a week ago to join his Team Scotland members and enjoy the final push before the 11 days of the badminton programme at The Emirates Arena.

“It’s great to get back and to work with my doubles partners, Robert Blair and Jillie Cooper,” he said. “I don’t work with them a lot so it’s good to get in some final preparations for the Games.”

Van Rietvelde was a young inexperienced lad at the 2010 Games in New Delhi, but made it to the last eight of the men’s doubles.

His partnership with Blair is filled with nostalgia. The families lives just streets apart in Longniddry and Robert’s Mum, Irene, set both of them on the way to world class level.

“Irene was my first coach and has always given overwhelming support,” he said. “She’ll be there to cheer us on at The Emirates. The whole atmosphere at the Games is going to be so special.”

Following a successful run in men’s doubles with Marcus Ellis, Van Rietvelde is set to join forces with another young Englishman, Harry Towler, next season.Paul V 2

“I really enjoy being down in Milton Keynes,” said the East Lothian star. “I do miss my friends back in Scotland but it’s like any other job, you have to go where badminton takes you.”

Not that it is all rackets and shuttlecocks for Van Rietvelde. He is studying for a degree in criminology through the Open University and hopes to graduate next year. 

But badminton remains the focus. “I know it is unlikely but I’ll be giving it a go to make it to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. I’ll try my best.”

In the meantime, he is looking forward to Glasgow 2014 and 11 memorable days on a badminton court. “We play on the first day but I hope we get to go to the opening ceremony,” he said. 

“I think the team definitely has a chance of getting a medal and we have a chance of medals in all the individual disciplines. The home crowd is sure to make a huge difference. I can’t wait.”

 

 

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