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28 November 2013 SENIORS

LEON DOUGLAS reports from Ankara on the World Senior Championships

WORLD CLASS: Dan Travers, Christine Black and Rita Yuan Gao in the arena in Ankara after theirmedal successes

made the trip to Ankara in Turkey for the World Senior Championships in September. Almost a thousand players competed across

the seven age groups and a good number of former superstars, particularly from Indonesia, were on show. There were 12 courts and the playing

surface and lighting left much to be desired. In other respects the organisation was reasonably good, thanks largely to the efforts of Turkey’s Mr Hakkan, the only English speaker on the organising team, and the unflappable referee, Charlotte Ackerman. She and her team worked 18 hours a day

to ensure that almost 1,400 matches were completed over the six days of the event. Dan again displayed his unique combination

of physical strength, technical ability and sheer determination to regain his singles title and also won the 55+mixed with Christine.

Danat thedouble F

IVE Scottish players - Dan Travers, ..Christine Black, Rita Yuan Gao, ..Leon Douglas and Leslie Frame -

Travers leads the Scotland medal push

His main rivals are still the Russians he has

faced repeatedly over the past decade or so and although they push him very hard, there is simply no-one of his age who can perform to his level. Christine, in addition to winning the mixed,

reached both the 55+singles and level doubles finals, a considerable achievement at a world championships and one of which she should be extremely proud. Her long-standing rival, Heidi Bender, was

a little too strong in the singles and she and Marjan Ridder succumbed to a very tough Japanese pair in the doubles. I suffered a severe calf injury in my first match

and was unable to perform to any level. Even so, Dan managed to carry us to within a few points of a bronze medal in the 55+men’s doubles. Rita played well but had mixed fortunes in the

35+age group, winning bronze in singles and mixed doubles and silver in women’s doubles. She was happy to have picked up three medals but disappointed that none of them was gold. Christine and I had entrusted Dan with our

accommodation arrangements. He certainly made an interesting choice. We found ourselves in the heart of the old

town’s red light district. The hotel was fine and the surrounding bars and restaurants provided educational enlightenment each evening. Overall it was an enjoyable and successful trip

and it is a great thing for BADMINTONscotland to have world champions at any level.

• Colin feels on top of theworld after scare

GOLDENWONDERS: Colin Hepburn (left) and David Barr celebrate Picture: Edinburgh Evening News

PORTOBELLO’S 68 year old Colin Hepburn continued to cause a racket on the interna- tional badminton scene after a life-threatening episode in April when he suffered a heart attack. But after undergoing a life-saving operation he was back on court training for theWorldMasters within a week. Colin, who took up the sport at the sprightly

age of 40, has just been crownedOver 65 world champion with partner David Barr at theWorldMasters multi-sporting event which took place in Turin in August.

Congratulations must also go toMargaret

Emery andMargaret Gibson, who also won gold in the women’s doubles plus all four players scooped a few silver and bronze medals in mixed doubles and also in the team event. Colin paid tribute to the medical staff

at the Edinburgh Hospital who made his incredible recovery possible, and encouraged more people to take up sport in their later years. Remember it’s never too late to take up badminton.

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