Scottish Badminton chief 'shocked and devastated' at funding cut

Kirsty Gilmour
Scottish badminton stars such as Kirsty Gilmour (pictured) face a funding shortage

Scottish Badminton chief executive Anne Smillie is "shocked and devastated" the sport has lost its UK Sport funding for the next Olympic cycle.

However, she says her organisation will do everything in its power to appeal against the decision.

Badminton is one of five sports to lose all UK Sport funding for the 2020 Olympics, along with archery, fencing, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby.

"It has come as a real shock," Smillie told BBC Scotland.

"We were just talking about what our medal prospects building up to Tokyo were going to be. I spoke to Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy, who didn't know anything about this."

Britons Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge won bronze in the men's doubles in the Rio Olympics this summer.

"We've had the most successful Olympic Games since 2004, badminton has a track record of Olympic success, and so I'm deeply disappointed," added Smillie.

"I am very much hoping we will be given the opportunity to appeal against this decision.

"With our Olympic success in Rio, the talent coming through, particularly through Kirsty Gilmour... surely we have a fantastic case to appeal."

Anne Smillie
Anne Smillie is hopeful her organisation can appeal against the funding decision

Smillie is also keen to reassure the sport's top stars, but admits there is "great uncertainty".

"There will be a serious shortfall in funding in the build-up to the next Olympics," she said.

"We had athletes in the Olympic programme and now they have been told they need to go home. That's so sad.

"However, we've got a fantastic badminton academy, we have our new head coach coming in January, and we have a track record of proving to the world that we can produce world-class medallists - Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier being two.

"We have produced a medal in Rio and I would be confident with Kirsty Gilmour and young Adam Hall we could have great success in Tokyo in 2020."

Cycling had its funding cut by more than £4m, after winning 12 medals in Rio.

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