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SA badminton team take on Norfolk Island in opener

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Our Commonwealth Games badminton team know the road ahead in the mixed teams category after the draw was announced, writes Mark Etheridge.

Coach Stewart Carson’s squad has been drawn in Pool E where they will take on Norfolk Island, Singapore and Jamaica.

The matches will be played on consecutive days, starting on Thursday, the day after the opening ceremony at Celtic Park.

The hurdle that springs to mind immediately is Singapore, the other two should be beatable if this team plays to their potential.

‘The draw is good but Singapore are seeded fourth overall. This means we need to beat the other teams 5-0 to ensure a chance of making the knock-out,’ says Carson.

‘The other groups including New Zealand, Scotland, Canada and Australia will be vying for the two spots available for the quarter-finals.

‘We’re looking forward to it. We have shown that we can compete with some of the best so we need to prove it here at the Games.’

At this stage the team’s only injury worry is rising young star Jennifer Fry, who turned her ankle over in the warm-up game against Ireland a few days ago.

But, as she told Road to Rio 2016: ‘The doctors say I’m a miraculous healer, so we’ll just keep it strapped nice and tightly and manage it carefully.’

Added coach Carson: ‘Jen is doing well, she will be on court today moving a bit so let’s hope she is good to go. Then on court again tomorrow morning for some tests to see if she can handle a match.

‘The top in each group go through and then the top two overall also go
through to the quarters.’

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