Scotland suffered an agonising defeat on day one of the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2017 in Australia’s Gold Coast today.
Eleanor O’Donnell got off to a winning start on her international debut when she and Adam Hall defeated Nyi Yakura and Rachel Honderich in the mixed doubles 14-21 21-17 21-10.
Kieran Merrilees put the Scots 2-0 ahead with a 21-18 21-12 victory over Jason Ho-Shue.
That gave Kirsty Gilmour the chance to seal the tie when she faced her Commonwealth Games nemesis Michelle Li in the women’s singles.
In a close contest Gilmour came back from a game down to take the match into a third end when she snatched the second game 24-22.
The decider was also close but the match turned when Gilmour thought she had edged ahead at 18-17 only for the umpire to overrule the line judge who had called out a Li return.
LI then won three of the next four points in the arena where next year’s Commonwealth Games will be held to take the contest 21-12 22-24 21-18 in 65 minutes and start the Canadian fightback.
More agony followed for the Scots when Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh lost to Ho-Shue & Yakura 22-24 23-21 21-17 when they had victory in their sights with a match point at 21-20 in the second game.
That meant O’Donnell was back on court with Julie MacPherson as the Scottish National women’s doubles champions were left to tackle the deciding rubber against Li and Honderich. But the Canadians had too much firepower and swept to victory 21-6 21-11.
O’Donnell said: “I was a bit nervous this morning for the first match. I think that showed in the first set and half and then I relaxed and it was a really good performance. I was really happy with that one.”
Despite the disappointment of Scotland’s defeat she revelled in the Cup experience, adding: “It’s amazing, such a difference from playing junior badminton for Scotland to playing senior badminton at such a big event as the Sudirman Cup.”
Today’s defeat came in contrast to the Scots’ last Sudirman Cup campaign when they were undefeated in 2013. The Scots finished 13th in Kuala Lumpur.
In the other Group 2 A match Vietnam defeated New Zealand 4-1. The Scots play the Kiwis on Tuesday with Vietnam on Wednesday.
Scotland 2 Canada 3
Mixed doubles: Adam Hall & Eleanor O’Donnell bt Nyi Yakura & Rachel Honderich 14-21 21-17 21-10
Men’s singles: Kieran Merrilees bt Jason Anthony Ho-Shue 21-18 21-12
Women’s singles: Kirsty Gilmour lost to Michelle Li 21-12 22-24 21-18
Men’s doubles: Martin Campbell & Patrick MacHugh lost to Ho-Shue & Yakura 22-24 23-21 21-17
Women’s doubles: O’Donnell & Julia MacPherson lost to Honderich & Li 21-6 21-11