Playing at a home World Championships is an opportunity few athletes experience, but Edinburgh badminton stars Martin Campbell and Julie MacPherson made sure to relish every second of the opportunity despite falling in the first round in Glasgow.
The first Scots to take to the court at this year’s TOTAL BWF World Championships, Campbell and MacPherson faced Swedish pair Nico Ruponen and Amanda Hogstrom and were downed in two sets, eventually losing 21-17, 21-16.
The points were shared back and forth across the net in the first set until the Swedish pair found second gear late on.
Unfortunately for the Scots, their opponents were much more dominant in the second set, taking the lead from 3-3 and keeping it, yet 27-year-old Campbell, playing at his fifth World Championships, empahsised the positives and turned his attention to today’s men’s doubles.
“It was amazing to be back at the Emirates Arena, we have the Scottish Open here every year but it adds more to it when it’s a Commonwealth Games or World Championships – it’s just magnified,” he said.
“So it was great to be back here for a major tournament, it’s obviously not the result we wanted but we’ve both got doubles which is our main priority.
“I felt we did ourselves quite proud there, we just couldn’t quite get the lead. We were always chasing and when you’re playing a pair that are higher ranked than you, you want to try and put pressure on the scoreline.
“We didn’t quite manage to do that, if we’d managed to I think we could have really tested them and maybe gone all the way but it wasn’t to be.”
More than 40 nations are participating, the third time the World Championships have visited the city since 1997.
And for 19-year-old MacPherson, who will also feature in the women’s doubles, making her Worlds debut in familiar surroundings was an experience she will never forget.
“It’s such a good experience having my first World Championships on home soil, the Scottish Open is always really good with the crowds and this is even better,” she said.
“Everything’s been gearing up towards this, we went to Canada and the US and we’ve been training hard for this, but we’ve still got the doubles so hopefully we can put in a good performance there.
“This is my first World Championships and it was such a good experience having the crowd behind us.
“My family from Inverness came down today and all our friends could come and watch so it’s so nice having them here.”
• The TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 will be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August. It is being delivered by BADMINTONscotland in partnership with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council and with funding support from EventScotland and The National Lottery through UK Sport. Tickets available at www.glasgow2017.com/tickets