March

Gilmour, Dunn and Hall to represent Scotland in Huelva

Kirsty Gilmour, Alex Dunn and Adam Hall have been selected to represent Scotland in next month’s European Championships in Spain.

Double European silver medallist Gilmour is aiming for a hat-trick of silverware after stepping on the podium in each of the past two competitions on the continental stage.

But for Dunn and Hall this is a first senior European adventure as a pair and they are set to take part in the men’s doubles when the competition gets underway on April 24.

Last year Gilmour defied her status as seventh seed to take silver in one of her first events after recovering from knee surgery.

That backed up the same achievement a year previous for the Scottish Open Grand Prix champion and world quarter-finalist.

On both occasions she missed out to Carolina Marin in the final and, with the Spaniard set to compete on home courts, the Scot is looking forward to the challenge she is set to face.

“I’m delighted to qualify for Europeans again,” said Gilmour.

“It's nice to have the opportunity to compete for a European medal every year now.

“This year will be even more of a challenge for me physically and mentally as it comes right after the Commonwealths so I have to prepare for that element too.

“But I look forward to Europeans every year as it's the only time when all of the top players in Europe are under one roof.”

Meanwhile, Dunn and Hall are celebrating their rapid development as a pair with a maiden appearance together at this level, reward for a productive 12 months.

That has included three titles together, the last of those coming at the Iceland International at the start of this year.

The men’s doubles pair also have the Turkey International and Irish Open trophies in their locker, while becoming national champions for the first time together in 2018.

In fact the national men’s doubles and mixed doubles titles were the first for Dunn at that level, with the teenager going from strength to strength as his career gathers pace.

Success has also come his way in Europe previously, becoming European Junior bronze medallist in 2015 – again with Hall.

And two years later he took a step higher up on the podium, in the mixed doubles, this time playing alongside Eleanor O’Donnell.

“I’m very happy about being selected to play my first Europeans, it is set to be a great experience,” said Dunn.

“It’s another big tournament for myself and Adam in April as Europeans will be a couple weeks after the Commonwealth Games so we’ll be able to take the momentum into that one.

“There isn’t too much expectation for us so means we are able to go in and enjoy the tournament and will look to cause some upsets.”

As for Hall, this will not be the 22-year-old’s first shot at the European Championships.

Two years ago the Scot competed alongside Robert Blair, again in the men’s doubles, winning through two rounds before missing out to third seed English pair Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge in the quarter-finals.

Hall said: “I'm really excited to be selected for my second European Championships.

“I have lots of fond memories of my last one with Bob Blair back in 2016 where we reached the quarter finals so I'm really looking forward to see how me and Alex do.

“With THE Commonwealths coming right beforehand it's definitely going to be an exciting few weeks.”

All three selected players will compete in the European Championships just a couple of weeks after the Commonwealth Games.

Eight Scottish shuttlers will represent their country on the Gold Coast, with Gilmour, Dunn and Hall joined by Julie MacPherson, Eleanor O'Donnell, Kieran Merrilees, Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh in Australia.