With Olympians Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair back training in Scotland and teenager Kirsty Gilmour in the world’s top 40, Scotland’s medal hopes for next year’s Commonwealth Games have never been higher, writes Elspeth Burnside.
The squad made a breakthrough at last month’s Sudirman Cup World Team Championships in Malaysia, winning all four matches and rising to No 13 in the world, and will be alongside Malaysia, India, Singapore and England as team contenders at Glasgow 2014.
“The team were magnificent in Malaysia,” said Badmintonscotland chief executive Anne Smillie. “We have a great performance programme thanks to the tremendous support we receive from sportscotland and we are working closely with them to ensure that the team for Glasgow is as well prepared as possible. The next step will come in November when our players get to play in the Scottish Open inside the Emirates Arena.”
Bankier, a 2011 World Championship mixed doubles silver medallist with England’s Chris Adcock, returned to train at Scotstoun after last year’s Olympics. She said: “It’s great to be back and now my full focus is on the Commonwealth Games. I loved playing in front of a home crowd at the 2011 World Champs and at the Olympics. I’m sure it will be fantastic at the Games.”