July

Gilmour, Dunn and Hall prepare to take on the world in China

Twelve months ago Kirsty Gilmour was preparing for one of the biggest weeks of her career as the TOTAL BWF World Championships came to Glasgow.

A memorable week saw Gilmour become the first Scot to reach a World Championship singles quarter-final, coming within a whisker of beating legendary Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal to reach the semi-finals which would have secured her a bronze medal.

Fast forward a year and she is once again preparing to face the best players in the world, albeit in a very different circumstances.

With the 2018 event taking place in Nanjing, China, Gilmour is unlikely to experience the same raucous support of last year, but this also brings some positives for the British no.1.

“There's a lot less external pressure this time around,” she explained.

“My friends and family can't come and watch but there's less hype in British media so this time I can fly under the radar in my preparations.

“It's going to be difficult to replicate the atmosphere and sense of occasion from last year at the Emirates Arena but I'll be going on court just as focused and as soon as I step on court it will be exactly the same pressure as any major tournament.”

Gilmour will face Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia in the first round, with a clash against Chinese fifth seed Chen Yufei the prize for the winner.

At number 22 in the world rankings Gilmour is seven places higher than Tunjung but is prepared for a difficult match.

“Any draw at a world championship is going to be tough” she said.

“I've never player Gregoria before in competition but we have trained together a little. I think we're both very physical players so it's going to be a battle.

“I've been working on a few things in training that I want to be able to utilise in competition and as with any competition I'm just looking to go out and perform well.”

Scotland’s other representatives in Nanjing will be Alex Dunn and Adam Hall in the men’s doubles.

They face Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han of Chinese Taipei in their opening encounter with no.11 seeds Liao Min Chun and Su Ching Heng, also of Chinese Taipei, awaiting the winners.

Dunn and Hall missed out on last year’s Glasgow extravaganza, with the event coming too early in their burgeoning partnership to enable them to qualify.

But they will take heart from some excellent performances against world class opposition at the Commonwealth Games in Australia earlier in the year.

“The Commonwealth Games was a great learning opportunity” said Hall. “Getting to play Olympic Silver medallists multiple times in one competition is quite special.

“But we've never played this pair before so this will be a challenge for us as they are a former top 10 pair.

“We've played a few Chinese Taipei pairs before and we think they will have a similar style of play so all we can do is have a good game plan before going in and try our best to perform well.”

Dunn echoed the sentiments of his partner, saying: “There is never an easy game in the world championships and we know the Taipei pair are strong.

“But we don’t have a lot of pressure on us so we can just focus on our own game and put into practice the things we have been working on and take it from there.

“We are going over to Holland to train with the Dutch national team prior to leaving and they have good pairs in men’s doubles so it gives us a chance to get some good match practice.”

The TOTAL BWF World Championships take place in Nanjing, China, from 30 July to 5 August 2018.

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