Scotland badminton team manager Christine Black experienced the jubilation of winning a medal at a home Commonwealth Games when she delivered bronze in the mixed doubles event in Edinburgh in 1986.
Fast forward almost 28 years and she’s now hoping Edinburgh duo Jillie Cooper and Martin Campbell can emulate her podium position when the Glasgow games get under way in four months time.
Although the team has yet to be officially announced – a decision expected some time in May – Black is encouraged by the form shown by many of the players vying for a coveted spot. Cooper and Campbell did their chances no harm with gold in the mixed doubles in the Romanian International last weekend.
She said: “I’m really pleased for them, Jillie especially, as she’s in between partnerships at the moment and all these results are really good. Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier won the German Open a couple of weeks ago and now Jillie and Martin have done the same in Romania, so it’s all great in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.
“You’ve got to be in the world’s top 60 over a period of four weeks to be selected for the Games. Our selection policy finishes on April 30 and they are improving all the time. We do have three men and women who have already qualified so we would desperately like to have the full team of five men and five women to compete.
“It’s going to be really full on as we’re involved right from day one, so it’s on for the entire eleven days. We’ve certainly got an outside chance of a team medal if we can get the full team on board. I’d love to see at least one medal for the team and, if everybody can play to their full potential and enjoy the whole atmosphere, then we’ll have a chance.”
Cooper, 25, spoke of her recent win on the continent which was enhanced by her partnership with 23-year-old Campbell.
She said: “We played really well as a partnership. We knew if we played to our ability then we could win the title, but it’s so difficult to win any competition in Europe. It was nice for Martin as well as I’ve known him for a long time and it was actually his auntie who introduced me to badminton, so it’s quite special to have finally won a big tournament with him.
“We played together in the Scottish Open in November and narrowly lost out to a really good Danish pair, so we knew we could deliver on the European stage. Martin is mainly focusing on his men’s doubles and me on the women’s, but we knew we were both going, so it was good to pair up.”