By Phil Jones, Sportsbeat – 0870 445 0156
EUROPEAN silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour wants to put on a show for the home fans in her favourite city in the world when the TOTAL BWF World Championships come to Glasgow later this month.
The Scot, who won Commonwealth silver in the women’s singles at Glasgow 2014, earned her second European silver earlier this year and hopes the partisan home crowd can help lift her to even greater heights at the showpiece tournament.
This year will mark the second time Glasgow has hosted the Badminton World Championships, having staged the event 20 years ago, and Gilmour cannot wait to get going.
“For me I just want to take advantage of playing a World Championships in my home city,” said the 23-year-old.
“I have some performance goals for the tournament but I aim to embrace and enjoy every minute of playing in Glasgow.
“Glasgow is my favourite place in the world. It takes cultures from across the globe and mixes them in with its own history to produce a unique atmosphere.
“It has been voted the world's friendliest city by Rough Guide and for good reason. It's packed with independent cafes and restaurants that each bring their own flavours and twists to the table.
“I feel spoiled that in my career so far I have managed to experience a Commonwealth Games and now a World Championships in my home city. It's what every athlete dreams about and I get it twice.
“I'm proud every time I pull on my Scotland top but even more so when I'm surrounded by people who are in my corner and willing me to win. Scotland fans are the best and I want to do them proud every single time I play.”
Ranked 26th in the world, Gilmour has a habit of upsetting her seeding and performing on the big occasion.
At Glasgow 2014 she went one better than her seeding of third to take home the silver medal, and at this year’s European Championships she was seeded just seventh, but still got to the final – only to lose out to Spain’s Carolina Marin for the second year in succession.
But for now she is not focussing on seedings, or rankings, or even opponents, instead choosing to concentrate on herself, and the home crowd.
“Now that I've finished my last tournaments before the World Champs my training will become very focussed on peaking physically and mentally,” she added.
“I have some things I want to continue to work on so it will be about fine-tuning things at this point.
“First and foremost I just need to focus on my performance, I'm not setting any other goals other than to deal with one game at a time.
“If I focus on putting in good performances then the results will take care of themselves.
“Competing in front of a home crowd is something I will never take for granted. It comes with its own pressure but I love stepping out onto court in front of people who are willing me to do well.
“It is honestly one of the best feelings in the world and I feel privileged that I get to experience that as part of my job.”
The TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 will be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August.
It is being delivered by BADMINTONscotland in partnership with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council and with funding support from EventScotland and The National Lottery through UK Sport.
Tickets available at www.glasgow2017.com/tickets