Defending champion Kirsty Gilmour has been confirmed as top seed in the women’s singles at the Yonex Scottish National Championships, to be held at Bell’s Sports Centre, Perth, from 1-3 February 2019.
It will be Gilmour’s first competitive outing on home soil since retaining her women’s singles crown at the Scottish Open in November and she starts as strong favourite to win her eighth national singles title in a row.
That would be a new record, overtaking the seven titles in seven years won by Muriel Ferguson (nee Woodcock) between 1962-68 and taking her one step closer to the overall record held by Anne Gibson (nee Robertson), who won nine titles over the course of 10 seasons from 1989-1998.
If all goes according to seeding Gilmour will face up and coming star Rachel Sugden, who reached the semi-finals of the singles two years ago, in the final.
Six-time champion Kieran Merrilees is once again favourite to win the men’s singles with Christopher Grimley, who made his full Scotland debut last year, seeded to meet him in the final.
Joshua Apiliga and Ben Torrance are seeded joint 3/4 with Alistair Campbell, Matthew Carder, Ciar Pringle and Callum Smith taking up the 5/8 seed positions.
Christopher, along with his brother Matthew, is also expected to provide the sternest challenge to the favourites in the men’s doubles with top seeds Alex Dunn and Adam Hall aiming to defend the title they won for the first time together last year.
Jack MacGregor and Ciar Pringle as well as Steven Stewart and Ben Torrance are joint 3/4 seeds.
In the women’s doubles there is likely to be at least one new name on the trophy as last year’s champions, Julie MacPherson and Eleanor O’Donnell, are playing with different partners this year.
MacPherson teams up with Holly Newall, with whom she won the Welsh International late last year and they will start as favourites with O’Donnell and Ciara Torrance seeded second.
MacPherson also starts as favourite in the mixed with Hall. They have enjoyed some good results since re-forming as a partnership in 2018, reaching the semi-final of the Czech Open and the final of the Belgian International, but second seeds and defending champions Dunn and O’Donnell will not relinquish their title easily.
Keith Russell, CEO of Badminton Scotland, said: “The Yonex Scottish National Championships is the highlight on the domestic badminton calendar.
“It is a special event for all the athletes and provides Scottish badminton fans one of the few opportunities to see the best players competing on home soil.
“Of course this includes established internationalists like Commonwealth bronze medallist Kirsty Gilmour, but I’m especially looking forward to seeing how some of the younger players, the up and coming stars of the future, rise to the challenge and I’d encourage everyone to come to Perth and cheer them on.”
Tickets are on sale now
The Yonex Scottish National Championships are being staged at Bell’s Sports Centre, Perth, from 1-3 February 2019 with support from Perth and Kinross Council, Live Active Leisure and the Perth Common Good Fund.
The draw will be available at www.badmintonscotland.org.uk by Wednesday 30 January.
A full list of seeds is shown below
2019 YONEX SCOTTISH NATIONAL BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPS SEEDS
Men’s Singles (Holder: Kieran Merrilees, Glasgow)
1 Kieran Merrilees (Glasgow)
2 Christopher Grimley (Glasgow)
3/4 Joshua Apiliga (Glasgow); Ben Torrance (Paisley)
5/8 Alistair Campbell (Dunbar); Matthew Carder (Edinburgh); Ciar Pringle (Giffnock); Callum Smith (Duns)
Women’s Singles (Holder: Kirsty Gilmour, Glasgow)
1 Kirsty Gilmour (Glasgow)
2 Rachel Sugden (Alexandria)
Men’s Doubles (Holders: Alex Dunn, Motherwell/Adam Hall, Mauchline)
1 Alex Dunn (Motherwell)/Adam Hall (Mauchline)
2 Christopher Grimley (Glasgow)/Matthew Grimley (Glasgow)
3/4 Jack MacGregor (Hamilton)/Ciar Pringle (Giffnock); Steven Stewart (Airdrie)/Ben Torrance (Paisley)
Women’s Doubles (Holders: Julie MacPherson, Edinburgh/Eleanor O’Donnell, Beith)
1 Julie MacPherson (Edinburgh)/Holly Newall (Mauchline)
2 Eleanor O’Donnell (Beith)/Ciara Torrance (Paisley)
Mixed Doubles (Holders: Alex Dunn, Motherwell/Eleanor O’Donnell, Beith)
1 Adam Hall (Mauchline)/Julie MacPherson (Edinburgh)
2 Alex Dunn (Motherwell)/Eleanor O’Donnell (Beith)