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www.badmintonscotland.org.uk November 2013 7 GRAND PRIX


The big names head back to Glasgow


Happy returns


star-studded line-up to the Championships at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena. A total of 272 players representing 31 nations


T


and all five continents will converge on the Commonwealth Games badminton venue for five days of top-class action, starting on Wednesday, November 20. The Grand Prix has attracted a number of


former champions back to Glasgow to top the entry list alongside Scotland’s own stars like Yonex French Open quarter-finalist and London Grand Prix runner-up Kirsty Gilmour and their two former world doubles silver medallists Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair. Leading the overseas challenge is Russia’s


current Olympic bronze medallist Nina Vislova, who is three times a women’s doubles champion at the Scottish Open (2005, 2007 and 2009). Vislova partners Anastasia Chervaykova in a line-up where Bankier and Bulgaria’s Petya Nedelcheva will be the ones to beat after winning four titles so far this year. But Scotland have another top pair in


contention in Gilmour and Jillie Cooper while England’s Kate Robertshaw and Heather Olver andMalaysia’s 2011 Scottish open runners-up Hui Lin Ng and Hui Ern Ng will also be in contention. Bankier is also likely to be second favourite in


the mixed doubles with Blair behind England’s Chris Langridge and Heather Olver. Bankier has won the mixed title with both Blair (2007) and England’s Chris Adcock (2010) while Blair has won it three times in total, twice with England’s NatalieMunt before his win with Bankier. The Scottish pair have already won three titles this year. At 20 Gilmour has yet to win the Scottish


Open title but she has already reached her first Grand Prix Gold final this season in London and the quarter-finals of the Yonex French Superseries last month, and will be seeded to reach at least the semi-finals at the Emirates Arena.


HE elevation of the Scottish Open to Grand Prix status has had the effect of attracting a


Past winners top a quality list of entries


SCHEDULE AND TICKETS Wednesday, November 20 (9am-10pm) All qualifying rounds plus men’s singles first round Thursday, November 21 (10am-9pm) Men’s singles second round plus first round of women’s singles and all three doubles events Friday, November 22 (10am-8pm) Last 16 and quarter-finals Saturday, November 23 (Noon-7pm) Semi-Finals Sunday, November 24 Finals to be played in two sessions Session 1: 10.30am-12.30pm Session 2: 1.30pm-5pm *All finishing times are approximate *Tickets are still on sale through BADMINTONscotland’s website www.badmintonscotland.org.uk


Spain’s London winner CarolinaMarin, who is


also 20, Nedelcheva and Gilmour will be the players to beat in one of the strongest women’s singles line-ups in recent years. Two former men’s singles champions are in


the line-up - Finland’s 2006 winner Ville Lang and Poland’s 2005 champion PrzemyslawWacha, who is now established as a top men’s doubles player with team-mate Adam Cwalina.


FRIENDS REUNITED:


Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier on the way to themixed doubles title in 2007 at the Kelvin Hall.


Now they are back in the titlemix at the Emirates Arena in


Commonwealth Games season Picture: SNS


Scotland No. 1 KieranMerrilees will also spot


Denmark’s Joachim Persson, Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen and France’s Brice Leverdez as danger men in the men’s singles along with Malaysia’sMisbun RamdanMohmedMisbun and Ukraine’s Dmytro Zavadsky, who beat the Glasgow man last month in the Yonex Dutch Open quarter-finals. England’sMarcus Ellis, who won the mixed


doubles last year, is the only defending champion returning from last year’s winners. But this year his target will be to recapture


the men’s doubles title he won in 2010 with PeterMills when he partners Scotland’s Paul Van Rietvelde. They will be up against 2009 winnersMads


Conrad-Petersen andMads Pieler Kolding and their Danish team-mates Kim Astrup Sorensen and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen as well England’s Mills and Chris Langridge and two top Polish pairs inWacha and Cwalina andWojciech Szkudlarczyk and LukaszMoren. Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of


BADMINTONscotland, said: “This is the strongest entry we have had for some years. “It is marvellous to see so many past winners


returning to Glasgow to compete for trophies. This is down to our new Grand Prix status and the increased prize money and ranking points that go with it. “We have a new Arena for the players – the


one which will be used for the Commonwealth Games badminton event next summer – and a higher-profile event offering TV coverage. “None of these advances would have been


possible without the backing of our key partners, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and EventScotland, who are supporting our tourna- ment with a £750,000 investment over the next four years.” The Championships begin with qualifying and


men’s singles first round onWednesday, November 20 with the finals on the morning and afternoon of Sunday, November 24.


PASTWINNERS IN FOCUS: Pages12-13 NATION-BY-NATION ENTRY GUIDE: Pages 16-17


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