Team Scotland have announced a nine-strong badminton squad for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
As part of the ongoing build-up to the Games, 50 athletes across seven sports were announced on Wednesday, to mark 50 days until the action gets underway in England’s second city, including Badminton.
Having won silver in the European Championships earlier this year, national number one Kirsty Gilmour is included for her fourth Games after previously picking up silver and bronze medals in 2014 and 2018 respectively.
Ranked inside the world’s top 20, Gilmour will hope to complete the Commonwealth set in what will be her fourth since debuting in Delhi 2010.
She has also competed at the Olympics, European Games and multiple World Championships meaning Gilmour will have a wealth of experience to call upon later this summer.
Berwickshire ace Callum Smith has also been named in the squad, after he was crowned men’s singles national champion in Perth for the second time earlier this year.
And the 20-year-old is encouraging badminton fans to make the trip south of the border and cheer the team on in their quest for medal success.
“I feel very, very excited to be getting my first cap and for it to be the Commonwealth Games,” beamed Smith. “I feel like it’s a massive achievement and I’m really happy with my selection.
“It’s great to be here with all the other athletes from different sports. It’s good to be in a big group with everyone and sharing past experiences.
“For a lot of people it’s their first Commonwealth Games, but there are also people who have been to a few before so it’s good to hear what it’s been like and for me to find out what to expect.
“I think people should definitely travel to Birmingham. We want all the support we can get. I think there will be a lot of Scottish fans as it isn’t too far to go, but the more the merrier.”
Smith is one of four debutants in the team heading to the NEC in Solihull, including Ciara Torrance who can’t wait to make her Commonwealth bow.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Torrance added. “I don’t think it had fully hit me, but it’s kind of hit me now and I honestly can’t wait to just get down there and play.
“We’ve got really good depth across the team with nine players and I think we’ve got a great chance to bring home a medal”.
Doubles duo Alex Dunn and Adam Hall are also Birmingham-bound having also competed on the Gold Coast last time out.
They reached the quarter-finals on that occasion, their run only halted by Malaysian top seeds Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong.
But the pair will be heading into Birmingham off the back of one of their strongest results to date, picking up a silver at the European Championships in April.
The Grimley twins, Christopher and Matthew, will also make their maiden Commonwealth appearance having won the Scottish Open last year.
The duo have steadily climbed the rankings over the past 12 months and also competed at their first BWF World Championships in Spain last December.
Completing the squad are Eleanor O’Donnell and Julie MacPherson, who return for their second crack at a Commonwealth Games having taken to the court on the Gold Coast four years ago.
Both were part of the mixed team side that reached the last eight in Australia, with O’Donnell the youngest competing member of Team Scotland at the time.
Former Scottish Badminton Internationalist and current Team Scotland Chef De Mission Elinor Middlemiss said “I am delighted to welcome another 50 athletes to Team Scotland, taking our total selected so far to 119.
“What a special way to mark 50 days to go to the Games.
“It is a real honour to represent Scotland and I am really pleased for the athletes who have been selected.
“There is a real depth of experience and potential in this squad, and I have no doubt that our more experienced members of the team will actively support those who are making their Games debut.
“The excitement for Birmingham 2022 is now really starting to build and I am really looking forward to watching our athletes in action this summer and hearing the roar of support from our fans in the stands.”
The Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham from 28 July to 8 August 2022.