Duns badminton ace Callum Smith successfully defends Scottish singles title

Berwickshire badminton ace Callum Smith has held on to his national singles title by defeating the same opponent as last year.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 12:04 pm
Callum Smith, standing back left, is pictured with fellow finalists at the weekend in Perth
Callum Smith, standing back left, is pictured with fellow finalists at the weekend in Perth

Smith, of Duns, faced Joshua Apiliga on Sunday in a repeat of the 2021 men’s singles final at the Yonex Scottish National Badminton Championships.

The event, featuring various disciplines over three days, was held at the Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth.

Smith came from a set down to beat his opponent 14-21, 21-11, 21-14.

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From left at the presentation - Frank Turnbull (Badminton Scotland president), champion Callum Smith, beaten finalist Joshua Apiliga and Dennis Molloy (Provost of Perth & Kinross Council)

It was the first time either player had lost a set on their way to the final as the top two seeds dominated the event, but, in the end, Smith proved to be just too strong for Apiliga, and he will have to wait another 12 months for the opportunity to try to win a maiden senior national title.

“It feels really good to come away with a second national title at 19 years old,” said Smith. “I was quite nervous and I think it showed, but I am happy to come away the win in the end.”

Borders Badminton Group, set up to promote the sport in the region, was among those first to congratulate Smith, who took up the game aged seven after being encouraged by his stepdad, a coach.

Smith has won a number of junior and senior titles as well as representing Scotland, and in 2019 he was named junior sports personality of the year at the Berwickshire regional ClubSport Awards.

The weekend concluded with a world-class men’s doubles final as Alex Dunn and Adam Hall recaptured the trophy they last won in 2020 against twins Christopher and Matthew Grimley, celebrating their 22nd birthday.

Hall and Dunn also faced each other in the mixed doubles final, with Hall and Julie MacPherson winning against Dunn and Ciara Torrance.

MacPherson and Torrance won their third women’s doubles title in a row, beating Holly Newall and Sarah Sidebottom in the final, and Rachel Sugden defended her women’s singles trophy, beating U19 national champion Abbie Brooks.

Prizes were presented by Perth and Kinross Council provost Dennis Molloy, accompanied by Badminton Scotland’s president, Frank Turnbull.

The championships were supported by the council, Live Active Leisure and the Perth common good fund.