Scotland Women are guaranteed their first badminton team medal after they stormed to a 3-0 win over Russia in the quarter-finals of the 2020 European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships in France.
Julie MacPherson sparked jubilant scenes on the court as she scored the winning point – a victory that sees Scotland set up a semi-final clash with Germany at 9am GMT on Saturday.
This is the first time Scotland have secured a medal at the Championships since they started in 2006.
Earlier in the tournament, the unseeded Scots had already upset the apple cart knocking seventh seeds Spain out at the group stage to reach the last eight.
And they went one better in the quarter-finals, defeating second seeds Russia in comprehensive style.
Kirsty Gilmour got the Scots off to a flying start, winning the first game of her matchup with Evgeniya Kosetskaya 21-11.
The Russian pegged her back though, winning the second game 21-17, but Gilmour managed to secure the first point of the event by winning the deciding game 21-18.
Rachel Sugden had a slightly easier time of it in her matchup against Natalia Perminova producing a convincing 21-18 21-13 win.
And from there, it was MacPherson who sealed the win in her pulsating tie with Mariia Golubeva.
After losing the first game 21-17, Macpherson hit back to win back-to-back games 21-10 21-13 to give her the point and with it an unassailable 3-0 lead.
MacPherson said: “I feel amazing right now. I am still shaking. I just cannot believe we have won.”
Gilmour and MacPherson were on standby for a potential decider in the doubles, as were teammates Eleanor O’Donnell and Ciara Torrance, but they were not needed in the end.
Scotland’s Head Coach Ingo Kindervater said: “This has been a crazy week for us. We have had people with stomach problems and for example Holly Newall could not play today because of that, so we had to change line up.
“The whole credit goes to all the girls – they are all performing on a crazy high level this week. Today’s performance was so good. Very happy for now and another big match is coming up tomorrow, so we are ready to go again.”
Gilmour added: “We love to be underdogs. Scotland are always the underdogs, but we are trying to change that. We are trying to be the top dogs.
“But we always go in with that fighting attitude that is so stereotypically Scottish and it is something we are consciously bringing to the match today.”