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Van Rietvelde and Ellis fight back to lift title in Wales

badminton

Scotland's Paul Van Rietvelde is celebrating after he and England's Marcus Ellis lifted the men's doubles title at the Yonex Welsh International in Cardiff, writes Rob Moir.

The second seeds came from behind to beat England's Peter Briggs and Harley Towler 16-21, 21-9, 21-16 in the final.

The Anglo-Scottish pair also had to come from a game down in the second round when they defeated Scotland's Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh 15-21, 21-14, 21-9 before going on to topple England's Gary Fox and Ben Stawski and Welsh pair Joe Morgan and Nic Strange in straight games on the way to the final.

Scotland No.1 Kirsty Gilmour made an early exit in the women's singles when the second seed lost to Taipei's eventual winner Mei Hui Chiang but the 19-year-old from Bothwell more than made up for that in the women's doubles by bettering her semi-final effort at the Scottish International Championships last week in reaching the final with Jillie Cooper.

Gilmour and Cooper, the third seeds, started with a good 21-12, 21-13 win over Ireland's Sinead Chambers and Jennie King then produced another good win when they edged out Petya Nedelcheva and Dimitria Popstoikova of Bulgaria 22-20, 21-18 in the semi-finals.

However, in the final they were beaten by Gabby White and Lauren Smith 21-7, 21-14 as the English top seeds avenged their quarter-final defeat in Glasgow.

In the men's singles, Kieran Merrilees defeated former England No.1 and fourth seed Andrew Smith 21-19, 21-10 on the way to the last eight but he had to retire in his quarter-final against Czech sixth seed Jan Frohlich when leading 5-3 in the deciding game.

The players now head for Dublin for this week's final European event of the year, the Irish International.

BASKETBALL

Glasgow Rocks guard Donald Robinson insists he can cope with the burden of becoming the main scorer at the Emirates Arena, writes Mark Woods.

The American rookie has shaken off his early struggles to net 25 points in his last two games as Sterling Davis' men have pulled away from the foot of the BBL table.

However, with Glasgow's reserves mired in a slump after scoring only six in Sunday's loss to Leicester, Robinson is ready to shoulder an extra load.

He said: "I don't feel any pressure. I'm just doing what I have to do to help the team and I know scoring is one of the main things on me. So I'm stepping up to do that.

"I know I need to be more aggressive. It's been a big transition for me coming here out of college due to the size of all the players but it was set out to me that I had to adjust and learn."

Rocks captain EJ Harrison is expected to be fit for next weekend's trip to Cheshire despite hobbling off with a hamstring pull against the Riders.

CURLING

Eve Muirhead has been handed the toughest possible start to the defence of her European title in Karlstad, Sweden, on Saturday, writes Lorin McDougall.

The Perth skip will face reigning world champion Mirjam Ott from Switzerland in her opening round robin match.

Aberdeen's world silver medallist Tom Brewster plays Czech Jiri Snitil and Germany's Andreas Lang in his first two games on Saturday.

gymnastics

Dan Purvis is out to turn the tables on Olympic all-around silver medallist Marcel Nguyen at this weekend's World Cup in Glasgow, writes Roddy Mackenzie.

The Scot, a team bronze medallist at London 2012, narrowly missed out to the German at last weekend's World Cup in Stuttgart as he took a silver medal with GB team-mate Kristian Thomas back in seventh.

Purvis, who won a silver at last month's Joaqim Blume memorial event in Barcelona, now wants to end his year in style.

"I was very happy with finishing second [in Stuttgart] especially with such high level competitors there," Purvis said.

"Barcelona was a good indication on how well my fitness was and finishing second there really gave me confidence going into Stuttgart.

"I'm very excited about Glasgow, it will be my last competition this year and I am hoping to put in a great performance in front of a home crowd and finish this year on a high."

ice hockey

Bobby Chaumont goes back to his former stamping ground when Fife Flyers square up to Braehead Clan n Glasgow tomorrow, writes Neil Drysdale.

Chaumont was controversially cut by Braehead after the club's recent form slump and Flyers are looking for revenge after their last visit ended in 4-3 defeat when former National Hockey League forward Drew Miller scored the-winner in the final minute. Braehead are keen to bounce back after lost 5-1 at Coventry Blaze on Sunday.

Fife's player/coach Todd Dutiaume said: "If we let Braehead play their game they will come at us and create a lot of scoring chances, but we are going to concentrate on our own play and make sure that we do not allow them to control the game.

"Last time we visited Braehead we had a five-minute collapse and that lost us the game. This time we are confident that we'll be bringing back the points."

Assistant coach Danny Stewart is unlikely to ice as he is still suffering some effects from his concussion he sustained against Hull Stingrays in mid-November.

n  Dundee CCS Stars yesterday parted company with defenceman Danny Markowitz after only four games, writes Nigel Duncan.

The American was signed on a six-week trial but failed to ice in Sunday's home encounter against Nottingham Panthers. Charlie Ward, Stars' director, said: "He didn't fit in."

Markowitz from Jericho, New York, paid his own way to Britain after being a victim of the National Hockey League lockout. He turned professional in 2011 and joined East Coast Hockey League side Alaska Aces.

The Tayside team, who have lost their last six games, are struggling with injuries to senior players.

Sunday's game against high-flying Nottingham Panthers saw player/coach Jeff Hutchins and Doug Krantz sidelined with newcomer Tim Kraus forced to withdraw from the game.

He suffered a back injury following a heavy check in Saturday's shoot-out, home defeat by Coventry Blaze.

swimming

Former double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington has called on British Swimming to appoint a new head coach as soon as possible claiming the current situation has

left swimmers feeling in limbo, writes Chris Scott.

Dennis Pursley vacated the head coach role immediately after the pool programme at the 2012 Games, although his return to his native United States to coach at the University of Alabama had always been his intention, rather than any reaction to Team GB's poor showing.

The team came away with just three medals - two bronzes by Adlington in the 400 metres and 800m freestyle and Michael Jamieson's silver in the 200m breaststroke - and a devastated national performance director Michael Scott quickly announced a review.

Adlington said: "Why is it taking so long? We've been dying for them to appoint a head coach for months. A lot of us don't know who we are going to at the moment. Who do we speak to? It's awful what has been going on."

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