Scottish Badminton continues its recovery from Covid-19 this this weekend as the Yonex Scottish Nationals return to Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth.
It is the third national event to be played in as many weeks, following the staging of the U13/17 Junior Championships in Glasgow on 14 & 15 August and the National Disability Championships on 21 August in Dalkeith.
All three events were saved from the debris of the 2020/21 season as Badminton Scotland tried to salvage as much as possible from the Covid-19 induced hiatus from competitive badminton.
A fantastic entry comprising 87 players in Perth shows the appetite for competitive badminton has not been diminished over the last 18 months and although a few injury-induced withdrawals have reduced that number, the size of the entry is such that there will be a qualifying event in men’s singles.
There will be a new name engraved on both the men’s and women’s singles trophies this year.
Eight-time champion and holder Kieran Merrilees has retired from competitive badminton so top seed Callum Smith and second seed Joshua Apiliga are expected to battle it out for the top step of the podium in men’s singles.
In the women’s singles, reigning champion Holly Newall was forced to withdraw with injury and eight-time champion Kirsty Gilmour is unable to compete due to a longstanding contractual commitment to her badminton club in Denmark.
In their absence Rachel Sugden is top seed with Lauren Middleton expected to meet her in Sunday’s final.
Chris and Matt Grimley are favourites in the men’s doubles ahead of reigning champion Alex Dunn, who partners his brother Robert this year while his regular men’s doubles partner Adam Hall recovers from injury.
Hall’s absence means he is also unable to defend the mixed doubles title alongside Julie MacPherson, who has instead teamed up with Matt Grimley this year.
They are seeded second with Dunn and Ciara Torrance the top seeds.
The women’s doubles features the only defending champions as MacPherson and Torrance attempt to hold on to their trophies.
If they succeed it will be the fifth time in as many years that MacPherson has won the women’s doubles but second seeds O’Donnell and Rachel Andrew will be doing all they can to prevent that from happening.
Action gets underway on Friday afternoon with men’s singles qualifying before mixed doubles rounds up to and including the semi-final take place on Friday evening.
On Saturday, men’s and women’s singles and doubles will be played up to and including the quarter-finals, with remaining semi-finals and all finals taking place on Sunday from 10am.
Full draws and match schedules can be found here.
There is no general admittance of spectators this year with attendance limited to a certain number of people per player. Full information has been emailed directly to the players.
All matches will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel.