Monday 31 July 2017
With four World Championship appearances already under his belt, Martin Campbell is a dab hand at performing on the biggest stage – but that’s not to say the Scot won’t relish every second of his time on court in Glasgow next month.
Having made his World Championships debut in London six years ago, Campbell’s badminton career has since taken him to Guangzhou, Copenhagen and Jakarta, and everywhere else in between.
But next month’s Total BWF World Championships will be one of a kind, he admits, with a rare opportunity to play in front of a home crowd.
The Emirates Arena is a venue that holds a special place in the 27-year-old’s heart, having played there three years ago when the Commonwealth Games came to town.
But, having dreamed of representing Scotland at a World Championships since a young age, he’s not prepared to take his opportunities for granted any time soon.
“For all badminton players, the World Championships is the one you aim for every year,” he said.
“It’s always a great privilege to take part in it and I think this year is especially exciting because it is taking place in our home city, where we live and train every day.
“My family is very into badminton, I was brought up around the sport from an early age, so we went down to the All England and watched the World Championships every year.
“When I was a kid, playing at a World Championships was always something I aimed to do, but you never know how your career is going to pan out.
“When you qualify for your first World Championships, it’s an incredible achievement, and it’s something that has happened naturally as I’ve progressed through my career.”
Campbell and men’s doubles partner Patrick MacHugh have recently returned from playing across the pond, reaching the second round at both the YONEX Canada Open and YONEX US Open.
And while they are yet to discover who they will face in Glasgow come the end of August, Campbell insists they will kickstart their campaign with no fear – no matter who their opponents across the net are.
“We’ve just got back from playing in Canada and the US, and that went pretty well,” he said.
“The whole team played very well while we were out there, so that is great building blocks coming into the Worlds.
“We have four weeks to get in some good training before that, so preparations are going well.
“It’s difficult to set a target at the World Championships, because it all depends on your draw.
“You could get drawn against the World No.1 pair in the first round, but we want to be in the tournament for as long as possible.
“We’d love to cause some upsets against some big names. We’ve played a lot of the top players before, so we know what it’s going to take.
“Someone has got to beat them, so I can’t see why that can’t be us.”
The TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 will be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August. Secure you seat today.
By Katie Falkingham, Sportsbeat
Photo credit: Badminton Photo
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.