Thursday 24 August 2017
Nothing was going to stop Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour from putting on a show for the home crowd as she sailed into the third round of the TOTAL BWF World Championships in Glasgow.
Making her first appearance of the championships having received a bye in the first round, Gilmour made light work of her match with India’s Rituparna Das, winning in straight games 21-16 21-13.
No stranger to the conditions of the Emirates Arena, Gilmour fell behind only once in the opening game, coming with the very first point, before developing a comfortable lead to take the early advantage.
Although a much tighter affair, the second game followed in much the same fashion, 23-year-old Glaswegian Gilmour not once relinquishing the lead as she dispatched her opponent, punching the air with delight as victory was sealed.
“It feels like I’ve been watching the tournament for about a week now, so I was just so happy to get on court,” she said.
“I’d had a lot of preparation, that’s why I chose to see some matches rather than sitting and waiting.
“I’ve dealt with it really well so far and I was feeling good out there - I’ve got rid of some nerves now.
“I’ve felt a bit of pressure but I’ve been using it in a positive way, just choosing to do something with the situation rather than letting it do something to me.
“I’ve definitely played the most amount of games in this hall out of anybody in this tournament. I’ve used the good ones and the bad ones and learnt a lot each time.
“But I still used that match to get used to the hall, I’m sure the drift will change tomorrow and I left a couple of shots that I maybe shouldn’t have.”
Next up across the net for Gilmour will be China’s sixth seed He Bingjiao - a two-time BWF Superseries tournament champion.
The two have met only once before, coming at the Syed Modi International Championships in 2016 when Gilmour triumphed 21-16 21-18, and she’s confident more success is on the agenda with the backing of the vociferous home crowd.
“I love playing in front of the Scottish crowd every single time, they never disappoint,” she added.
“I use it as another person and I can hear individual voices in the crowd, rather than blocking it out I choose to use it positively - I just love playing in front of a home crowd.
“I’ll play the Chinese sixth seed in the next round, I’ve played her before so I’ll be looking to get hold of that video and review my notes. I’ll be ready.”
Elsewhere on day three of the championships, another upset could be on the cards in Glasgow after European champion Rajiv Ouseph set up a last-16 clash with five-time world champion Lin Dan.
Ouseph triumphed in straight games over India’s Sameer Verma to progress to the third round, and with double Olympic champion Lin looking vulnerable as he came from behind to defeat Emil Holst, the Englishman is feeling optimistic.
“Lin Dan is the greatest player that ever played the game, so it’s a very exciting challenge to play him,” he said.
“It doesn’t get much better than that, so I’ll go out there and try and enjoy myself and see what happens.
“I hope another upset is on the cards, if I could take that win tomorrow it would be the biggest win of my career.”
There was also victory for Olympic bronze medallists Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis, as they progressed into the third round of the men’s doubles with a 21-15 21-10 win over Austrian opposition.
It was disappointment, however, for Scotland’s Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh as they were eliminated at the hands of Russian tenth seeds Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov.
“We knew it was going to be a tough one coming into the match, they’re a very highly-ranked pair,” said 27-year-old Campbell.
“They’ve beaten the top in the world so we always knew it was going to be hard, we just wanted to try and play our game plan.
“They’re big, tall guys so it was never going to be pretty badminton. It was a lot of short, quick points and we just found it difficult to get into the game or to get any momentum.”
It was the end of the Glasgow road too for England’s Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker, as
they bowed out with a 21-10 21-14 loss to the Korean fifth seeds, Jung Kyung Eun and Shin Seung Chan.
The TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships 2017 is being staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August. Tickets available here.
Film and article by Sportsbeat.
History was made on finals day at the TOTAL BWF World Championships as Viktor Axelsen became the first European player to win men’s singles gold in 20 years.