Kirsty Gilmour makes flying start to world championship bid

Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour enjoyed the perfect start to the Total BWF World Championships, winning her women's singles match in straight games at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

A fist pump from Kirsty Gilmour after her win at the world championships. Picture: Lorraine Hill
A fist pump from Kirsty Gilmour after her win at the world championships. Picture: Lorraine Hill

After two days of waiting to join the action after a bye in the first round, the 24-year-old cruised into the last 16 with a 21-16, 21-13 victory over India’s Rituparma Das.

She has now reached her seeding position but wants more and has good reason to feel confident going into the third round against Japan’s He Bingjiao today. The have met once – and Gilmour won.

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“I am so happy to be back at the Emirates,” said Gilmour, who won the 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medal in the same venue. “It’s great having the World Championships here. It’s also nice to finally get started. I have now fulfilled my seeding, but I would be lying if I said I was satisfied. If I play amazing tomorrow and lose, then so be it. But I feel really good and I want more.”

Gilmour, who underwent knee surgery following a 
disappointing 2016 Olympic Games, appears stronger than before, and she reckons she is the form of her life.

“I’ve put in a lot of work and definitely feel stronger,” added the world No 27. “Today I felt I was getting shots that I would have missed in the past.”

Having been a spectator for the first two days of the Championships, she admitted she had mixed feelings about her long wait to get on court.

“My sports psychologist told me to think about it as extra preparation time,” she said. “I also had to treat the Championships as though I was away from home.

“Usually you are in an hotel room. But I live in Glasgow, so I know where to go out for the best coffees and there are more distractions. But I had to treat it like any other match and rest up before the match.”

Gilmour didn’t get on to court until 7pm, but was off again just 42 minutes later. She was never seriously troubled in either game against an opponent whose first-round opponent had retired injured after just two points.

Gilmour is the last surviving Scot. In the men’s doubles, Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh went out 14-21, 14-21 to the No 10 seeds from 
Russia, Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov.

In the men’s singles, the 
English No.1 Raj Ouseph, also seeded 16, similarly reached his appointed berth in the third round. Ouseph had a rather tougher match but eventually beat India’s Sameer Verma 22-20, 21-19.

Meanwhile, China’s legendary Lin Dan had to come 
from behind to keep alive his hopes of a sixth men’s singles title.

The 33-year-old, regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, dropped the opening game against Denmark’s Emil Holst, but battled back to win the second -round match 19-21, 
21-8, 21-16 in a draining 81 

The decider was close, with the score tied at 16 all before Dan’s greater experience helped him win the final five points and gain revenge for a defeat to the same rival in the Danish Open earlier this year.