By Andrew Lawton, Sportsbeat – 0870 445 0156
Kieran Merrilees may have had a career interrupted by regular injuries but he’s confident he’s reaching peak form and fitness ahead of the Total BWF World Championships in Glasgow.
The 27-year-old Scot is currently ranked 65th in the men’s singles rankings, with a career high of 52, but has twice also fallen outside the world’s top 150.
But he has spent the entirety of 2017 inside the top 100 having reached the last 16 of the recent YONEX US Open, where he beat fourth seed Kazumasa Sakai in the first round.
Merrilees also ran second seed HS Prannoy all the way in the 2017 YONEX Canada Open before eventually falling to a three set defeat to further demonstrate his recent form.
And with a solid six months of training and competing now behind him, Merrilees is looking forward to getting out on the court at the Emirates Arena.
“Training has been going well, I’ve struggled with injuries a lot in my career that have prevented me from accumulating enough months of quality training to get the best performance,” he said.
“But over the last few months I’ve been training at a sustained high level. It's a huge event and it's very special to represent your country on the biggest stage.”
Merrilees is no stranger to the highest level though having represented Scotland at two Commonwealth Games, at Delhi in 2010 and again in Glasgow, four years later.
It means he’ll be back in familiar surroundings when he returns to the Emirates Arena on August 21 alongside the world’s best badminton players for the World Championships.
Tickets for the event have already gone on sale with big crowds expected to cheer on the likes of home favourites Merrilees and Kirsty Gilmour.
And while he’s confident of putting in a strong showing in front of a home crowd, the experienced Scot is not getting ahead of himself with such a strong pool of talent in the men’s singles draw.
“I'm really looking forward to the championships coming to Glasgow. It's always a boost to play in front of a home support,” he added.
“The men’s singles event is always very strong but I've had some good performances against world class opposition which has given me confidence going in.
“However, the draw will have a big influence on expectations and targets.”
TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 will be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August.
It is being delivered by BADMINTONscotland in partnership with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council and with funding support from EventScotland and The National Lottery through UK Sport.
Tickets available at www.glasgow2017.com/tickets
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This August, the fastest racquet sport takes over the Emirates Arena for 7 days.