Created on 18 July 2014
Published Date

Dan Travers and Billy Gilliland 1986 mens doubles goldWe’re nearly there.  The good news this week is that Scotland is seeded fifth in the team event so a place in Saturday’s quarter-finals is well within grasp.

As the Glasgow Games come into view my own thoughts have returned to Edinburgh 1986. There are so many memories – good, bad and ugly.

The best, of course, was Billy Gilliland and Dan Travers winning gold at Meadowbank in the men’s doubles. The final was late in the evening and a close match against Nigel Tier and Andy Goode.

And it was the home crowd that definitely helped swing it Scotland’s way. Tier showed his disgust at the vociferous support – and that made the fans cheer even louder. The Englishman let it get under his skin and our boys reaped the benefits.

Read more: The good, bad and ugly of Edinburgh 1986
Created on 10 July 2014
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Kirsty Gilmour Commonwealth promotion 2014Two weeks before she hits her first shuttlecock at the Commonwealth Games and Kirsty Gilmour admits she is “excited and anxious” at the prospect of carrying medal hopes at Glasgow 2014. 

The third seed in the women’s singles, the Bothwell 20-year-old was back at the Glasgow School of Sport for the final media outing before the badminton squad knuckles down to the final days of preparation.   

A former pupil, she was delighted to return to Bellahouston Academy.  “I was getting slagged off because there are so many photos of me but it was fun to be back training in the hall,” she said. 

“Now the Games are so close that I just want to get on to court at The Emirates Arena.”

Four years ago in Delhi, Gilmour was a badminton player who earned her place on merit but was included mostly to build her experience.

Read more: Gilmour feels the excitement before the Games!
Created on 27 June 2014
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Patrick MacHughPatrick MacHugh admits it’s been a long, long season. But he’s ready for the perfect end when he lines up for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games.

It was just 18 months ago that the Kinross 22-year-old teamed up on court with Edinburgh’s Martin Campbell. Now they are ranked No.54 in the world in men’s doubles and set for the highlight of their young careers.

“When the season started last August we were ranked No.115 in the world and I really didn’t think we could make it into the top 60 and earn qualification for the Games,” was his honest reflection.

“But we had climbed into the top 70 by Christmas and by then there was a glimmer of hope.”

The final clincher was a quarter-final appearance in Poland in March. “If we hadn’t made the last eight then maybe we wouldn’t have made the Games team,” he continued.

Along the way, the two stand-out efforts were victories in Bulgaria in August and then Iceland in January.

Read more: Ready for the Perfect End
Created on 04 July 2014
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Paul VPaul Van Rietvelde is sure to confuse a few people at the Commonwealth Games. His accreditation photo was taken when he had a big, bushy beard. 

Now clean shaven, he’s hoping to perplex his on-court opponents with a multitude of skills at Glasgow 2014. The goal is to help Scotland challenge for a team medal and work some magic in the individual doubles events.

Based in Milton Keynes with the GB squad, the Longniddry youngster returned home just over a week ago to join his Team Scotland members and enjoy the final push before the 11 days of the badminton programme at The Emirates Arena. 

“It’s great to get back and to work with my doubles partners, Robert Blair and Jillie Cooper,” he said. “I don’t work with them a lot so it’s good to get in some final preparations for the Games.”

Read more: Changing faces for Van Rietvelde
Created on 23 June 2014
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Rebekka Findlay 41Turn the clock back 12 months. Someone tells Rebekka Findlay that she has been included in Team Scotland for the Commonwealth Games. Her reply? “Don’t be so daft.”

But it wasn’t so crazy after all. With just a month to go, the 20-year-old from Erskine has been measured for her uniform and is ready to add her name to a rare list of Scottish badminton players who have competed in a home Games.

Understandably, she is a very happy bunny. “I’m over the moon,” she said. “This time last year I never ever have believed I would be in the team.”

There has been a tinge of disappointment with a BADMINTONscotland appeal to have her included in the individual events having been knocked back.  

Read more: What A Difference A Year Makes

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