Friday 25 August 2017
There will be British representation on the podium of the TOTAL BWF World Championships after Chris and Gabby Adcock guaranteed at least mixed doubles bronze.
There was disappointment though for Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour as she bowed out in the quarter-finals despite an impressive performance that shows she is back to her brilliant best after recovering from knee surgery.
Gilmour pushed India’s Saina Nehwal all the way but the 2015 world silver medallist had too much in the end, winning a 21-19 18-21 21-15 battle.
While her opponent had taken the early advantage on Court One, 16th seed Gilmour won nine points on the trot to turn the opening game on its head, but was unable to hold on as Nehwal pipped her to the win at the death.
The second game swung in 23-year-old Gilmour’s favour though, taking the lead at 7-7 and never relinquishing it to draw the scores level - the first game she had ever taken from Nehwal.
But the London 2012 bronze medallist’s class shone in the decider, taking the lead from the very beginning with Gilmour unable to pull her back, not for a lack of trying though - and she was quick to focus on the positives.
“There’s disappointment, but there’s some happiness in there too, that’s the overriding feeling right now,” she said
“To be six points away from a world medal after what I’ve been through in the last year, with a knee injury, a new coach and rehab, UK Sport funding cuts, I can be pretty happy with how today went.
“To have that bit more discipline to get a few more points on the board would have been great, but credit to Saina, she’s been through hell too and I was happy to give her such a good fight, she’s such an experienced player.
“She’s not stupid, she sees what’s happening and gives as good as it gets.
“To know that I’ve put back-to-back solid performances in, it feels like there is some momentum.
“You normally finish a tournament and go back to training, but I’ve got a week off now. I would have liked to last a day or two longer in the tournament, but I’m going to take this week and I’ll get straight back out for Korea and Japan.
“I’m looking forward to it and that’s a great feeling.”
BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “Kirsty gave it everything tonight and she can be proud of herself.
“Of course she will be disappointed but in time I’m sure she will be able to look back on her performances and recognize how much she has achieved this week.
“Kirsty has shown that she can compete with the very best in the world. She is still only 23 and this is a platform she can use to build on for future success."
The Adcocks - newly promoted to world number four this week - got off to a slow start in their quarter-final clash with Hong Kong’s Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet, losing the opening game at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
But the current European champions bounced back in remarkable style, dictating play and never relinquishing the lead in the second game before sealing the deal in classy fashion in the third, emerging as 16-21 21-13 21-16 victors.
Their delight was transparent as they rushed into the arms of their families in the crowd, and they won’t be coming down from cloud nine any time soon.
“It’s a pretty surreal feeling at the moment, I’m not sure it’s quite sunk in,” said Gabby
“That’s probably a good thing because we’ve still got another match or hopefully two to play. To secure a medal for England feels pretty amazing.
“I woke up in the morning thinking that there was a possibility that I could win a medal, but I tried not to think that far ahead.
“To come off the court now and have my first world medal - I can’t describe the feeling."
Chris added: “I think over the last few months with two European gold medals and a minimum of bronze today we've shown the calibre of the squad.
“We're not satisfied with this, we're going to go on and try and win more, but we are super happy.
“We're a great sport with great athletes and we've proven that!"
The TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships 2017 is being 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