April

Gilmour secures Commonwealth Bronze

Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour exacted revenge over Michelle Li for her Commonwealth Games gold medal defeat from four years ago by beating the Canadian to bronze on the Gold Coast.
 
The two players faced each other in the women’s singles final at Glasgow 2014 but played for the final podium place in Australia after losing their respective semi-finals earlier on Saturday.
 
But Gilmour was able to put an agonising and draining last-four defeat to India’s Saina Nehwal behind her, returning to the court to beat her Canadian opponent 21-11 21-16.
 
This was the fifth meeting of the two players with Gilmour having never previously tasted victory.
 
Li was clearly hindered by a hip injury in the match, struggling to move around the court at times, but the 26-year showed grit and resilience, especially in the second game to ensure the Scottish number one was made to battle all the way to bronze, eventually triumphing in 46 minutes.
 
“There is overwhelming happiness and relief to be standing here. During the last Commonwealth Games, I don't remember analysing it as much as I did this time,” said Gilmour.
 
"This time, there was a lot of planning and preparation beforehand, because the top-four seeds are all capable of beating each other on any given day.
 
"We weren't sure whether Michelle was going to play because of the injury she suffered during her semi-final and there was a lot going on in my head.
 
"I wish it was under better circumstances. Considering the final we played four years ago when she won two comfortable sets, to be able to bang that on its head makes me so happy."
 
Victory over Li ensured the day, and Gilmour’s Commonwealth Games campaign, ended on a high.
 
But earlier in the day the emotions were quite the opposite after missing out on the gold-medal match following an epic duel against former world number one Nehwal, which lasted an hour and eight minutes.
 
Gilmour lost the first game but battled back to level in the second and force a decider after 44 minutes already on court – the prospect of a first-ever victory over her opponent still within reach.
 
And while the third proved another close affair, Gilmour eventually succumbed, despite initially saving two match points, with the scoreline reading 21-14 18-21 21-17.
 
She regrouped and returned to court later in the day though for the bronze-medal match, comfortably wrapping up the first game after 18 minutes before maintaining her composure and concentration to clinch a spot on the podium.
 
And afterwards Gilmour praised the influence of Scotland coach Tat Meng Wong for improving her game in recent times.
 
"My semi-final was so close and so hard. I have never been in the position before where I have had to stop and then go again (in the same day),” she added.
 
"I owe the last year solely to Tat Meng. He has overhauled my game. I am a different player now compared to two years ago and that is all down to him.
 
"I have so much trust in him, that's not to say I don't occasionally disagree with what he says, but we have such a discursive relationship and so much respect for each other. Long may it continue."
 
Gilmour’s bronze concluded a successful Games for the Scottish team, who also reached the quarter-finals in the mixed team event.
 
Alexander Dunn and Adam Hall reached the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles with Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh making the last 16.
 
Julie MacPherson and Eleanor O’Donnell also progressed through to the last 16 of the women’s doubles with Dunn and O’Donnell doing likewise in the mixed doubles and Campbell and MacPherson making the last 32, while Kieran Merrilees reached the last 32 of the men’s singles.