Scottish National Badminton Championships: Kirsty Gilmour aims for sixth title

Kirsty Gilmour
At 23, Gilmour has won European and Commonwealth silver medals

Kirsty Gilmour is looking to win a sixth consecutive singles titles when she competes for the first time since the Rio Olympics at the Yonex Scottish National Badminton Championships in Perth.

Victory would pull her closer to Muriel Ferguson's record of seven titles in a row in the 1960s, while Susan Egelstaff won the event six times between 2001 and 2011 and Anne Gibson was victorious nine times in the 1990s.

Gilmour is returning from knee surgery.

"I can't wait to get back on court," the 23-year-old told BBC Scotland.

"It's going to be odd competing again, but training has been going well and I'm really looking forward to having a consequence to points and rallies.

"It will be a lot different from the Olympic Centre in Rio but I am very much looking forward to it."

The Commonwealth and European silver medallist, from Hamilton, had been hindered prior to and during the Olympics by a meniscus tear, but had opted to play through the pain at the Australian Open and until after the Rio Games, where she defeated Switzerland's Sabrina Jacquet before losing to Bulgaria's Linda Zetchiri in the qualifying group stage.

She has increased her training with national assistant coach Andy Bowman gradually since surgery in October, moving from predicted movements on a small court to unpredicted movements on a full court.

Kirsty Gilmour hugs Bulgaria's Linda Zetchiri after losing her Group D qualifying match in Rio
Gilmour and Zetchiri after their match in Rio

"This week is the first I've completed full training in four months, I'm feeling it," explained Gilmour, who has enjoyed taking the time during recovery to improve her tactical understanding of the game.

"It will be a relief to be competing again. Having a positive mental attitude goes a long way, I feel.

"I spoke to lots of athletes who'd had the same surgery and I was encouraged by their recoveries.

"I have a lot less cushioning in my knee but there are ways to manage that, such as putting silicone under the insoles to dampen the shock."

Edinburgh's Julie MacPherson and Mauchline's Holly Newall are Gilmour's main rivals for the singles title at Bell's Sports Centre and she will try to win a first mixed doubles title when she partners Patrick MacHugh on Friday evening.

The tournament forms part of the build-up to Scotland hosting the BWF World Championships from 21-27 August.

Seedings for Scottish National Championships

Men's Singles (Holder: Matthew Carder, South Queensferry)

1 Kieran Merrilees (Glasgow)

2 Matthew Carder (South Queensferry)

3/4 Alex Dunn (Motherwell); Ben Torrance (Paisley)

Women's Singles (Holder: Kirsty Gilmour, Glasgow)

1 Kirsty Gilmour (Glasgow)

2 Julie MacPherson (Edinburgh)

Men's Doubles (Holders: Robert Blair, Glasgow/Adam Hall, Mauchline)

1 Alex Dunn (Motherwell)/Adam Hall (Mauchline)

2 Martin Campbell (Edinburgh)/Patrick MacHugh (Kinross)

Women's Doubles (Holders: Rebekka Findlay, Erskine/Kirsty Gilmour, Glasgow)

1 Rebekka Findlay (Erskine)/Caitlin Pringle (Giffnock)

2 Julie MacPherson (Edinburgh)/Eleanor O'Donnell (Beith)

Mixed Doubles (Holders: Robert Blair, Glasgow/Imogen Bankier, Glasgow)

1 Adam Hall (Mauchline)/Eleanor O'Donnell (Beith)

2 Martin Campbell (Edinburgh)/Julie MacPherson (Edinburgh)

3/4 Alex Dunn (Motherwell)/Rebekka Findlay (Erskine); Christopher Grimley (Glasgow)/Ciara Torrance (Prestwick)

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