Scotland squads named for Europeans and European Juniors

KIRSTY GILMOUR will head for the Danish city of Kolding next month as she looks to improve on last year’s silver medal at the European Championships.

Gilmour and Kieran Merrilees head the seven-strong squad named today for the Championships from April 25-30, with Matthew Carder joining Merrilees in the men’s singles.

Scotland are represented in all five events with Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh playing men’s doubles, Julie MacPherson and Eleanor O’Donnell playing women’s doubles and Campbell and MacPherson teaming up in the mixed.

But first Gilmour will tackle this week’s Swiss Open in Basel in only her second international tournament since returning to action following knee surgery. In her first event she won the Austrian Open title in Vienna last month.

Merrilees and doubles pair Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh are also in action in Switzerland this week.

Scotland also named their squad for the European Junior Championships in Mulhouse today with O’Donnell the only player in both squads.

She and Julie MacPherson won the women’s doubles title at the Yonex Scottish National Championships in Perth in February and they are named in the Kolding squad.

The pair also reached the semi-finals of last weekend’s Portuguese International in Caldas da Rainha but MacPherson is now too old for the junior squad.

Beith’s O’Donnell is one of eight players named in the junior squad for the team and individual events from April 7-16, along with Glasgow twins Christopher and Matthew Grimley, who were also doubles semi-finalists in Portugal.

Motherwell’s Alex Dunn is also in the junior squad and has already tasted European junior success, having won a bronze medal with Adam Hall in the 2015 Championships in Lubin. Holly Newall, Rachel Sugden and Ciara Torrance complete the team.

Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said: “The European Juniors will be a great opportunity for our young players to experience a major tournament. But Eleanor, in particular, must be excited about being named in the squads for both the junior and senior Europeans and I am sure this will help in her development as she continues her transition from junior to senior badminton.”

European Championships squad:
Men’s singles: Kieran Merrilees, Matthew Carder
Women’s singles: Kirsty Gilmour
Men’s doubles: Martin Campbell & Patrick MacHugh
Women’s doubles: Julie MacPherson & Eleanor O’Donnell
Mixed doubles: Martin Campbell & Julie MacPherson.
European Junior Championships squad:
Men: Alex Dunn, Christopher Grimley, Matthew Grimley, Ciar Pringle
Women: Holly Newall, Eleanor O’Donnell, Rachel Sugden, Ciara Torrance