Commonwealth Games: Scots pair lose in badminton

Jillie Cooper & Paul Van Rietvelde in action in their match against Liu & Li of Canada.  Picture: Ian Rutherford
Jillie Cooper & Paul Van Rietvelde in action in their match against Liu & Li of Canada. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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SCOTLAND’S Paul Van Rietvelde and Jillie Cooper lost to Canada’s Adrian Liu and Michelle Li in the first round of the mixed doubles at The Emirates Arena.

Two evenly matched pairs on paper, it was hoped that home crowd might spur the Scots to victory but Van Rietvelde was hampered by an ankle injury and they went out in straight games 13-21 22-24.

In the second game, the Scots did forge ahead and led 17-12. But Liu and Li made it level at 18-18 and they then went on to save game points at 20-21 and 21-22 before finally clinching it on the second match point.

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Longniddry’s Van Rietvelde admitted that if it hadn’t been the Commonwealth Games he would have pulled out. “I bruised the ankle and strained ligaments three days before we went into the Athletes’ Village,” he explained.

“I then exacerbated it in the Group match against New Zealand. But we are playing in front of a home crowd and I’ve trained for this for four years so I wasn’t going to withdraw.

“I knew that Jillie was playing well and that she would be able to cope but it certainly wasn’t ideal.”

Cooper added: “It is pretty disappointing. I had two serves into the net and that’s unacceptable at this level. It was also a shame about Paul. But there’s nothing you could do and he stepped up and tried his best.”

Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier are the top Scottish mixed doubles partnership. The No. 3 seeds, they had a bye into the second round that takes place on Thursday.

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