Badminton: Stars rest up in rainy city

THE Edinburgh pair of Emma Mason and Martin Campbell have a day to acclimatise before they start their doubles campaigns at the Yonex European Badminton Championships at the MEN Arena in Manchester, writes ELSPETH BURNSIDE.

Mason and Glasgow's Imogen Bankier have a first round match in the women's doubles against Belgium's Steffi Annys and Severine Corvilain, while Campbell and Troon's Angus Gilmour take on Russia's Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov in the men's event.

Susan Egelstaff is the leading Scot and has a bye in the first round of the women's singles, the reward for a fine season.

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The Glasgow 27-year-old won the Bank of Scotland International Championship in November and the Yonex Scottish Championship in February and is now the No.1 British women in singles.

In Manchester, she is the No.8 seed and was starting her bid today against an unknown quantity in Hungary's Orsolya Varga.

"It is the first time that I've played her, so I'm not too sure what to expect," said Egelstaff, the world No.29. "But it's great to be one of the seeds and I'm hoping to have a good championship.

"It has been a good season so far and I want to keep it going."

Kieran Merrilees is Scotland's No.1 in the men's singles, but is unlucky to have drawn four-time champion Peter Hoeg Gade.

The Dane is now in the veteran class but is the top seed and firm favourite to collect his fifth title.

Glasgow's Alistair Casey has a better chance of making the last 32 as he opens against Turkey's Murat Sen.