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Emma Mason back in Scotland Badminton squad for the Sudirman Cup

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Category: Badminton News Published: 24 March 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 817
Scotland have today named their line-up for the Sudirman Cup in Guangzhou, China, from May 10-17.
 
The 10-strong squad includes Emma Mason for the first time since recovering from the Achilles injury which kept her out of action for most of last season.
 
The squad, led by team manager Rita Yuan Gao and team coach Dan Travers, will leave for China on April 27 and will prepare for the world mixed team championships with a special training camp in RitaÕs home province, Wuhan.
 
"This is the second part of a special reciprocal arrangement with China, who sent over a squad to Scotland before Christmas," said Chinese-born former Scotland international Yuan Gao, who was a playing member of the 2007 Scotland squad when the Cup was held for the second time in Glasgow. "The training camp will be vital preparation as Scotland aim to improve on their 19th place finish in the 2007 Cup."
 
For Jillie Cooper and Thomas Bethell it will be a special Sudirman Cup - Jillie will be 21 the day before it starts and Thomas will be 21 on finals day but is hoping to celebrate his birthday back home in Livingston as the Scottish squad are due to fly home on May 16.
 
Yonex Welsh Open singles runner-up Kieran Merrilees, Bank of Scotland International women's doubles champion Cooper and Bank of Scotland National Under 19 mixed doubles champion Paul Van Rietvelde are the only players who weren't in the 2007 Cup. Van Rietvelde, the uncapped Longniddry doubles prospect, is the youngest member of the squad at just 17.
 
Merrilees, Andrew Bowman, Susan Hughes, Imogen Bankier and Cooper represented Scotland at the European Team Championship in Liverpool in February when the Scots finished joint ninth.
 
Watson Briggs (Renfrew), who also represented Scotland in the European Championships in Liverpool, was originally selected for the Sudirman Cup squad but has had to decline his place due to university exams.
 
BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: "I know how proud many of these players were when they represented Scotland at the Sudirman Cup in Glasgow two years ago. I hope they feel just as special when they go into action in China in May.
 
"The training camp the week before the Cup is a great opportunity to establish the right preparation for the challenges they will encounter and I hope they all benefit from the experience as we build a squad based on youth and experience."
 
Champions China have won the Cup six times, with Korea three and Indonesia the inaugural winners in 1989. Denmark came closest to breaking the Asian monopoly in finishing runners-up in 1999.
 
Scotland Squad
 
Men
Thomas Bethell (Livingston, 5 caps, 20),
Andrew Bowman (Bellshill, 38 caps, age 24),
Kieran Merrilees (Glasgow), 4 caps, age 19),
Gordon Thomson (Glasgow, 13 caps, age 23).
 
Women
Imogen Bankier (Glasgow, 31 caps, age 21),
Jillie Cooper (Edinburgh, 12 caps, age 20),
Susan Hughes (Glasgow, 73 caps, age 26),
Emma Mason (Glasgow, 14 caps, age 22),
Linda Sloan (Glasgow, 14 caps, age 20).
 
Travelling Reserve: Paul Van Rietvelde (Longniddry, 0 caps, age 17)
 
Team Manager: Rita Yuan Gao
Team Coach: Dan Travers
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