Young trio bow out of Scottish Open
There was no shortage of Milton Keynes-based talent on show at badminton's Scottish Open in Glasgow.
A whole host of stars were on display on day two of the world’s third oldest badminton competition, not least the youthful trio of Steven Stallwood, Zach Russ and Lisa Curtin who were all flying the Badminton England flag high north of the border.
And while all three succumbed to defeats on the second day of the tournament - Stallwood and Russ in the men’s doubles, Curtin in the women’s doubles along with Brooke Stalker - spirits remained high about the potential for progress and simply being present at the famous old competition.
“I used to concentrate mainly on singles but since January it has just been doubles with Steven,” Russ, 20, said. “From then our partnership properly started and we’ve managed to find our level.
“We have an interesting relationship on and off the court - we give each other a lot of chat back and forth.
“But we try to help each other out a lot and when it comes down to the serious stuff, we always deal with it pretty well.”
Stallwood and Russ went down to a disappointing 10-21 21-19 15-21 defeat to seventh seeds Eloi Adam and Julien Maoi, being edged out in a pulsating final game in front of a vocal Scottish crowd.
Curtin was similarly sent crashing out prematurely, losing to eighth-seeded Swedish duo Clara Nistad and Moa Sjoo 6-21 8-21 to crush her dreams of achieving Glasgow glory.
But despite their losses, the trio all maintained lofty ambitions about their future on the badminton court.
“I only have one more year left of Under-17s and then it’s straight into Under-19s which basically senior badminton is - it’s a big step up from the juniors,” Curtin, 15, said.
“It’s going to be a tough transition to make - most people say you sometimes don’t win a game for months when they first go in, so that’s going to be tough and will take quite a lot of mental strength.”
Stallwood, 20, added: “The big aims are the Commonwealth and Olympic Games for us, but at the moment we’ve just started focusing on our doubles and want to start finding our level.”
The Scottish Open Badminton Championships is being staged at the Emirates Arena by Badminton Scotland with support from Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, and Yonex. Full results are at www.tournamentsoftware.com