Adam Hall: “We’ve had a few losses but we’ve learnt from them. The more wins we get at these bigger events the more we feel we are making the step up and can progress further in the future.”
Thursday saw the last remaining Scottish pair fall in the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships, with Adam Hall and Alex Dunn eliminated at the last 16 stage.
But the pair can take heart from some encouraging performances across the week as they led the Scottish charge in Tokyo.
The pair fought their way through to round three in Tokyo after two assured performances which included a comeback win over 15th seeds Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana. The Indonesians had received a bye in the first round and their freshness showed in the opening game, edging out Hall and Dunn 21-17.
But the former Scottish Open champions produced some of their best badminton in the second game to level the match. Four straight points for Hall and Dunn, who won European silver earlier this year, at the start of the decider helped them establish a 9-5 lead and from which they didn’t look back. They closed out a momentous 17-21, 21-19, 21-15 win to reach the last 16.
It meant a clash with the defending World champions and second seeds Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi and although Hall and Dunn provided another spirited display, this time it wasn’t enough.
The Japanese duo produced a controlled display to round off a 21-12, 21-14 victory.
Hall said: “For us coming to these top World Tour events now, every game is pretty tough. To play against these top players you need to learn from your defeats.
“We’ve had a few losses but we’ve learnt from them. The more wins we get at these bigger events the more we feel we are making the step up and can progress further in the future.”
Also flying the Scottish flag in the men’s doubles were 2021 Scottish Open champions Christopher and Matt Grimley.
The twins made a superb start with a 21-19, 21-16 first round win over former Lithuanian International winner Adam Mendrek and his partner Ondrej Kral of the Czech Republic.
In the second round they were given a tricky task against reigning European Champions Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel.
Despite a brave effort from the Grimleys, on this occasion the 12th seeds from Germany proved too strong and progressed after a 21-10, 21-13 straight sets victory.
In the women’s singles, Kirsty Gilmour returned to the World Championship stage after reaching the third round in the 2021 event in Huelva. But the Glasgow-based shuttler, who recently was the female flagbearer for Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, faced a tough task this time around with her current ranking of 17th leaving her unseeded.
That meant a first-round match against Gregoria Mariska Tunjung – the 2017 World Junior Champion who was also part of the Indonesia team that won bronze at the 2019 Sudirman Cup. Gilmour fought hard in a tight opening set that went to the wire, only to eventually go down 24-22. The Indonesian proved too good for the Scottish No.1 in the second game eventually securing a 24-22, 21-7 win to end Scottish interest in the singles competition for 2022.
Two of our pairs were involved in the mixed doubles draw at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
Hall and MacPherson faced Yang Po-Hsuan and Hu Ling-Fang as they looked to at least equal their progression of reaching the second round last year.
But this one went the way of the team from Taiwan who were ruthless in the key points to secure a 21-13, 21-16 success.
Elsewhere, Dunn teamed up with Ciara Torrance and the pair secured a World Championship win. They saw off Austrian duo Philip Birker and Katharina Hochmeir in straight sets, 21-9, 21-12. That set up a huge second-round clash with Japan’s Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino, who reached the final of the tournament in 2021, coming away with a silver to back up the bronze they won in 2019.
Although the Olympic bronze medallists from Tokyo 2020, Dunn and Torrance couldn’t have asked for a tougher task. The Scottish pair refused to give away any cheap points and were competitive in the first set for the duration, but were eventually beaten 21-12, 21-7.
MacPherson & Torrance
And in the women’s doubles, MacPherson and Torrance were eliminated in the second round after a 21-14, 21-17 defeat to the 11th seeds from China Zheng Yu and Zhang Shu Xian.
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Photo Credits: Badminton Photo Official