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East is best: Scots miss out on home success

The finals of the Scottish International Badminton Championships, which take place today at the new Emirates Arena in Glasgow, will lack any home representation.

It was always going to be a tough ask for Scotland's players to win through to the finals.

Kirsty Gilmour, the last Scottish singles hope, lost heavily 21-7, 21-12 to Germany's higher-ranked Olga Konon in the quarter-finals.

The only survivors of the early rounds in the mixed doubles, Robert Blair and Jillie Cooper, went out to Danish pair, Anders Kristiansen and Julie Houmann in straight sets, again in the quarter-finals.

Gilmour and Cooper fared slightly better in the women's doubles, winning their quarter-final before coming unstuck against Japan's Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao in the semi-final in two sets.

This year's championships have been dominated by young Asian players. In the past, Far East countries only allowed their top players to compete abroad.

Not any more. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia all have players taking part, with the Japanese and Korean associations both sending developmental teams made up of top junior players.

It is common for the Asian players, particularly females, to be precocious in their development, so their progress here is unsurprising despite their low-seeded positions.

It is not unusual for Asian teenagers to test the world's top players as soon as they emerge on the tournament circuit.

While it would not be feasible for Scotland to directly copy the training methods of those countries, there are perhaps important lessons to be learned.

Attitudes make it much more likely that the Asian players will succeed on the world stage. The fact there is such stiff competition for places means complacency is not allowed to breed.

Contrast that with Scotland where there is a risk of players coasting in their comfort zones.

On a brighter note, the Emirates Arena has been an unequivocal success, which bodes well for the Commonwealth Games in 2014 as the badminton event will be held at the venue in 20 months' time.

The arena has certainly showcased the sport to its full potential and today's finals will display some world-class badminton. Many of the young Asian finalists will undoubtedly be the stars of the future.

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