By RJ Mitchell
INGO KINDERVATER believes our elite players are ready to face the challenge of a daunting four tournament swing in the Far East which has started this week with the Perodua Malaysian Masters in Kuala Lumpur.
Earlier this morning, despite an ankle injury to Julie MacPherson which has required round the clock physio, Julie and Adam Hall recorded a fine win in the Mixed Doubles to progress to a second round clash with England’s Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith.
Adam and Alex Dunn followed in the Men’s Doubles against the world class Malaysian duo of Tan Wee Kiong and Tan Kian Meng with a winning result over 3 sets (21-23 21-14 21-16).
Yesterday Ciara Torrance and an injury restricted Julie MacPherson lost out in their Women’s Doubles opener with Chinese Taipei stars Chang Ching Hui and Yang Ching Tun 14-21, 16-21.
But projecting forward to a vital part of the year which also sees the start of the Olympic qualification process, Badminton Scotland’s Head of Performance, Ingo Kindervater said: “Obviously we are kicking off a period which ultimately means a lot of travelling and a lot of tournaments over in the Asia and we start off with this four block trip plus it is also now Olympic qualification, so that is quite something but it is part of being a professional badminton player.
“We have tried to expose the players in the last year to trips like that to make it the norm but it will be interesting to see how they handle it all.
“The main thing on these trips is that it is a new environment so you are being pushed out of your rhythm and set up and that is one of the tasks that the players face in that they must be good at staying in their training rhythm and looking after their bodies even when they are on the road.
“The players did compete in Asia earlier this year but so did all the other players competing here so it is not necessarily an advantage they have played in Malaysia earlier in the year but it is positive that they have already had a taste of this and are more comfortable with the changes because of that.”
With conditions at the Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil having settled down after a Sunday training session in which the air conditions were “crazy” our hopes of an opening victory for Julie MacPherson and Ciara Torrance were fatally undermined by a training injury to Julie.
Reflecting on this Ingo explained: “Unfortunately during Julie’s session on Sunday morning in the warm up she twisted her ankle quite a bit. There was a bit of a ledge that she stepped on when running that she didn’t see and this caused the injury.
“Since then she has had more treatment than training and yesterday she played with heavy taping and her movement was affected by this and really they both didn’t play very free after that.
“Perhaps it played a bit in their heads and that was very unfortunate as if they had played to their full capacity they had a decent chance.
“Even with the injury it was not as if they had no chance but it is just unfortunate for Julie.”
However there was good news out of Kula Lumpur this morning as after further physio Julie was not only able to take to the court for her Mixed Doubles with Adam Hall but the duo also managed to defeat Indonesia’s Zachariah Sumanti and Hediana Julimarbela 24-22, 21-19.
While Julie’s injury still affected her movement the Scotland international got stronger as the match progressed and hopes are high that after further treatment her ankle is only going to get better.
Turning his attention to the Mens Doubles Ingo admits that Adam and Alex have to be at their best as they face a combination which boasts an Olympic silver medallist and the current World No.17 Mixed Doubles ranked player in its ranks.
Ahead of the match he said: “It is going to be an interesting one as they are quite experienced and good players but they are not unbeatable. Tan Wee Kiong is a silver medallist from the Rio Olympics and Tan Kian Meng is a world ranked mixed doubles player.
“At the Commonwealth Games Alex and Adam lost to a pairing that included Meng in a deciding match to go through to the semi-finals and they won the first set and were 16-10 up in the second and lost their rhythm a bit, so this will be an interesting one.
“Kiong and Meng are now playing as professional players and not with the Malaysian team anymore and they are tricky players but Adam and Alex should hopefully have a decent chance there.”
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