Rothesay badminton ace Sarah: Scots juniors should have clinched top 10 spot at world champs

Sarah Sidebottom (right) and Lauren Middleton are proving to be a very profitable partnership
Sarah Sidebottom (right) and Lauren Middleton are proving to be a very profitable partnership

Rothesay badminton ace Sarah Sidebottom reckons that Team Scotland’s highly creditable 12th place finish at the World Junior Championships should have been even better.

Sarah (18) and her doubles partner Lauren Middleton starred for the Scots at the recent showcase in Canada.

“We were really unlucky out there,” Sarah told The Buteman.

“We were playing against Singapore in our final match and if we had beaten them we would have finished in the top 10 in the world but Lauren and I lost our match.

“It was the first to three and Scotland were losing 2-1 when it came to our doubles game.

“We had to win and ended up losing narrowly, by 30 points to 29 in the third set.

“It was absolutely gutting to get so close and then lose.

“But, overall, Scotland players were super happy to finish as the second European team and 12th overall.”

Sarah followed up her Canadian adventure by reaching the last 16 of the women’s doubles with Lauren at the Scottish Open in Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

She then wound down 2018 by playing a few club matches for her team in Belgium. And 2019 will be a momentous season for the Rothesay player, her first full campaign as a senior player.

“Stepping up to the senior ranks will be a nice experience for me,” added Sarah, who is coached by Robert Blair.

“I don’t think I will be expected to win titles in my first year at that level.

“It is more about me adapting properly to my new environment. Senior badminton will be much different for me as I’ll be playing against people who are 10 or 12 years older.

“For the next couple of years, it will be about me getting experience.

“My partner and I will need to get stronger because some of these girls are so strong.

“We need to develop a lot more and hopefully win titles in a couple of years.”