County badminton stars are set for nationals

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Robert Blair from Longniddry, experienced mixed fortunes in the Maybank Malaysia Open Superseries event in Kuala Lumpur last week.

Blair with mixed doubles partner Jillie Cooper scored a superb win in the first round of the tournament. The Scots defeated Korean sixth seeds Shin Baek Choel and Eom Hye Won, winning 22-20 12-21 21-17 to book their place in the last 16.

However, the pair missed out on a quarter-final place when they lost 21-16 21-18 to Malaysia’s Tan Aik Quan and Lai Pei Jing. The Scots were in contention up to 13-13 in the first game and 11-11 in the second game.

In the men’s doubles, Blair and his Malaysian partner Tan Bin Shen opened up against Thai pair Patiphat Chalardchaleam and Nipitphon Puangpuapech but were forced to retire when Bin Shen suffered a shoulder injury.

Blair is now focussing his attention of the Yonex Scottish National Championships, which will take place at the Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth from February 1 to 3. Blair has been seeded third in the men’s doubles along with partner Gordon Thomson, a former singles champion.

Paul van Rietvelde (Longniddry) has been seeded second with partner Watson Briggs (Renfrew). In the mixed doubles, Blair and Cooper have the top seeding while van Rietvelde and Kirsty Gilmour are seeded four. Tickets for the tournament are now on sale.

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