Robert Blair enjoys national double

Robert Blair
Robert Blair
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Edinburgh-born Robert Blair claimed two doubles titles at the Yonex Scottish National Badminton Championships at Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth. It was all part of an impressive preparation for the Commonwealth games in

The 32-year-old claimed his first mixed doubles with Glasgow’s Imogen Bankier – it was eight in a row for the 2012 Olympian – and he collected the men’s doubles with Longniddry’s Paul Van Rietvelde.

But it was a case of near and yet so far for Edinburgh’s Jillie Cooper. She lost to Bankier and Kirsty Gilmour in the women’s doubles and lost a three-set final in the mixed: 9-21, 21-18, 12-21.

In the men’s singles final, Glasgow’s Kieran Merrilees rose from his sick bed to overcome South Queensferry’s Matthew Carder and take the title for a third time.

The 24-year-old had been sick during the night and had to save two game points in the opener before getting home 25-23, 21-13. “If I hadn’t won the first game I would definitely have pulled out,” he admitted. “I actually feel really sorry for Matthew because he was playing really well.”

Hamilton’s Kirsty Gilmour was an easy winner of the women’s singles and she also held on to the women’s doubles. Last year she won with Cooper – this time Bankier was her partner.

In the singles, the world No. 22 and Commonwealth Games medal hopeful faced a surprise finalist in the unseeded 15-year-old Holly Newall. The Glasgow School of Sport pupil had knocked out second seed Rebekka Findlay in three games in the semi-final but Gilmour triumphed 21-9, 21-6.