TWELVE Scots lined up in the first round of singles at the Scottish International Badminton Championships at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow but only two – Kieran Merrilees and Kirsty Gilmour – survived to make it into today’s final 32.
Merrilees scored a shock 11-21, 21-18, 21-14 win over the Austrian Olympian and No. 8 seed, Michael Lahnsteiner, while Gilmour easily swept past Finland’s Sonja Pekkola.
Seeded seventh, it took Gilmour just 24 minutes to record a 21-8, 21-9 victory and she was impressed by the new facilities on offer at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Having won tournaments this season, Gilmour had further cause for celebration yesterday as she rose to a career high of No. 49 in the world rankings.
“This is by far the best arena I’ve played in all year,” said the Bothwell 19-year-old. “It was fantastic out there today and I’m feeling very, very good.”
Gilmour now meets England’s Georgina Bland, a straight games winner over Scotland’s Kirstie Marisa Baird.
While it was a shock on paper, the unseeded Merrilees reckoned his win over Lehnsteiner wasn’t too unexpected.
“I think his seeding is a bit false because he played so many matches trying to qualify for the Olympics, said the Glaswegian. “I think I have a good chance of making it through the next round.” He faces Dane Rasmus Fladberg.