Badminton: Jillie Cooper all revved up for Emirates Arena

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EDINBURGH’S Jillie Cooper enjoyed a career highlight when she won the women’s doubles in 2008. This year, the 23-year-old is a seed in two events at the Scottish International Championships at the new Emirates Arena in Glasgow.

In the women’s doubles Cooper is sixth seed with Bothwell’s Kirsty Gilmour and she is also seeded sixth in the mixed doubles alongside Longniddry’s Robert Blair. Blair won the title in 2007 with Imogen Bankier.

Gilmour is the No. 7 seed in the women’s singles and is aiming to add to an already sparkling season. She has won titles in Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland in the past couple of months and has risen to No. 51 in the world.

She was due to open her account today against Finland’s Sonja Pekkola. A win should take her through to a repeat clash against Denmark’s Line Kjaersfeldt, the No. 12 seed and world No. 86.

Kjaersfeldt defeated Gilmour in the last 16 stage of the singles last year and went on to reach the final and win the mixed doubles.

Glasgow’s Kieran Merrilees is the leading Scot in the men’s singles, but has a tough start against the Austrian eighth seed Michael Lahnsteiner.

In-form Chou Tien Chen (Chinese Taipei) is the top seed after winning the Bitburger and Iceland titles, while Malaysia’s Chung Seang Tan is second seed in a strong men’s singles line-up. Anand Pawar of India, the 2010 champion, starts against Austria’s Daniel Grassmueck.

In the men’s doubles Paul Van Rietvelde is fourth seed with English partner Marcus Ellis. They open against Edinburgh’s Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh, from Kinross, the recent beaten finalists in the Iceland International. Martin’s brother, Michael, is also in the draw with Troon’s Angus Gilmour.