Welsh Open Round Up and EMTCQ Build Up: Callum Smith

By RJ Mitchell

SCOTLAND No.1 Men’s singles star Callum Smith is facing a race against the clock to make next week’s European Mixed Team Championships Qualifier taking place from 15 – 18 December 2022 at The National Badminton Academy, Scotstoun.

The 20-year-old came down with the flu the Saturday before he was due to travel to Cardiff for last week’s Welsh International Open and frustratingly was forced to scratch from an event in which he had a positive draw.

Now with Scotstoun just a week away, Smith remains determined to shake the virus and do his national service in front of what is sure to be a vociferous home crowd.

Smith said: “I came down with it the weekend before I was due to travel to Cardiff and I had to scratch as the last thing I wanted to do was pass anything on to the rest of the team.

“It was really frustrating as I had a decent draw against the Dane Marcus Viscovitch and I really hoped to go deep.

“It is just a flu and I am improving every day and I am confident of making Scotstoun but the problem is I will have missed a week and a bit of training building to it.

“But like I say I am determined to make it and there is still time to get my preparation in.”

Meanwhile with Smith forced to pull-out of the Welsh it was left to Scotland No.2 James Robertson to spearhead our Men’s Singles campaign but he was edged in three tense games by French qualifying No.2 seed Enogat Roy.

After making the third round Sen Thomas lost 21-5, 21-9 to Irish qualifying eighth seed Jonathan Dolan while Shaun Ally Aamir found Belgium’s Leo Van Gysel too hot to handle in a straight games defeat.

However Danny Robson will take enormous encouragement from his run to the final round of qualifying where frustratingly Austrian ninth qualifying seed Wolfgang Gnedt ran out a 21-17, 21-14 winner.

In the Women’s Singles our sole representative Scotland No.2 Rachel Sugden was edged 17-21, 21-11, 21-17 by Sweden’s Edith Urell.

In the Men’s Doubles Ciar Pringle and Michael McGuire reached the second round of qualifying where French duo Julien Maio and William Villeger prevailed 21-15, 21-10.

Callum Crangle and Anthony McGuire also fell at the second hurdle when the English pairing of Ben Jarvis and Harry Lines notched a 21-13, 21-10 victory.

The Women’s Doubles saw Jodie Harris and Brooke Stalker lose out in their opener 21-13, 21-17 to the English Ukrainian pairing of Williams and Potapenko.

In the Mixed Doubles Michael McGuire and Brooke Stalker made it through the three rounds of qualifying before they met fellow Scots Rachel Andrew and Adam Pringle who prevailed 21-9, 21-13 before losing to Danish fifth seeds Toft and Graversen in straight games.

In the second round of qualifying Ciar Pringle and Rachel Sugden lost to the English partnership of Brandon Zhi Hao Yap and Annie Lado.

Callum Crangle and Jodie Harris also negotiated the perils of qualification only to lose to the Danish pairing of Vestergaard and Busch in the first stanza of the main draw with the Danes eventually to emerge as champions.

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