Badminton: Scots’ Open given Grand Prix status

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OLYMPIAN Imogen Bankier was among those celebrating yesterday when it was announced the Badminton World Federation has upgraded the Scottish Open Championships to Grand Prix.

Just two days before they fly out to Kuala Lumpur for the ­Li-Ning Sudirman Cup – the World Mixed Team Championships – Bankier and fellow internationalists Robert Blair, Kirsty Gilmour and Martin Campbell were at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow to mark the £750,000 boost for Scottish badminton.

The decision comes after last year’s move to the Emirates, and this year’s event, backed by the City of Glasgow, will take place there from 20-24 November.

Glaswegian Bankier, 24, who won a silver medal in mixed doubles at the 2011 World Championships in London, missed the 2012 Championships due to injury, but is relishing the chance to play before a home crowd in the perfect warm-up for the Commonwealth Games.

“I didn’t play but I was at the Scottish Open last November and it was a great tournament,” she said. “It was far too good to just be a Challenge status and it is a real boost for the sport.”