This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. November 2013 9 GRAND PRIX

HOME HOPES: (fromleft) Robert Blair, Kirsty Gilmour,

Imogen Bankier, Jillie Cooper and below: Paul Van Rietvelde and KieranMerrilees


What a start to the big season for all of Glasgow

winner in men’s doubles, showed he can still beat the very best in his age group by taking two gold medals at theWorld Seniors Championships in Ankara in Turkey in September. The former Scottish National

coach won the men’s singles with a 21-16 21-16 final triumph over Yuri Smirnov of Russia and followed up with a win in the mixed doubles with Christine Black – a 1986 bronze medallist. Black added to the medal haul by

adding silver in both the singles and the women’s doubles. In the singles final, the No.2 seed lost to German favourite Heidi Bender and she joined Dutch playerMarjan Ridder in making the women’s doubles final before losing out to Japan’s Kunilko Yamamoto and Hiroko Yuyama. Scotland finished with a total of

eight medals withWorld Seniors debutant Rita Yuan Gao – can you

believe she is now a senior? – pitching in with three medals, two bronze and a silver. At the other end of the

age scale, Adam Hall (Glasgow School of Sport) and JulieMacPherson (Royal High School) both completed clean sweeps for Scotland at

the Sainsbury’s UK School Games in Sheffield. Scotland won the team event and

Hall successfully defended the boys’ singles and doubles and then added the mixed alongsideMacPherson. Hall won the doubles with Alex Dunn (Dalziel High School). In the team event, the Scots

scored 5-0 wins over both England andWales and beat Ireland 4-1 to secure the title before going on to claim five gold, three silver and four bronze medals in the individual events. In the girls’ singlesMacPherson

won an all Scottish final, beating the Glasgow School of Sport’s Holly Newall 12-21 21-18 21-19. The girls’ doubles final was

also an all Scottish affair with MacPherson and Eleanor O’Donnell (Glasgow School of Sport) taking the gold courtesy of a 21-16 21-10 final win over Dalziel High School

Open, Scotland’s players are shaping up nicely for all that 2014 will bring. The Commonwealth Games

next summer offers an amazing opportunity for the badminton players to snatch sporting glory and become immortalised in the minds of the general public. When Scotland’s swimmers

enjoyed a glorious Games at Melbourne 2006 they made national

headlines.Medallists on home ground have the chance to become even greater heroes. At present, it is all about making

the team. That means getting into the world’s top 50. Kirsty Gilmour is in the top 30 in singles and doubles (with Cooper), Bankier is in the top 30 in doubles and the top 50 with Blair in the mixed. Campbell andMacHugh were

twins, Hannah and SophieMorrison. So, at the time of the Scottish

outside the mark at No.70 nearing the end of October - but they have time to edge their way through the ranks. It is vital they make it for the good of the Scottish team. The Scottish Open, with its new

Grand Prix status, is a terrific opportunity for all the Glasgow 2014 wannabes to impress a home crowd and earn some vital world ranking points. The public need to get behind them. In fact, for everyone – players, spectators and officials – it is a perfect dress rehearsal.

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