By Gillian McPherson
Scots badminton ace Kirsty Gilmour has continued her comeback after serious injury to take her second international title in just over a month.
The 23-year-old beat unseeded Ying Ying Lee of Malaysia to be crowned women’s singles champion at the Orleans International after battling through a tight opening set to win 22-20, 21-11.
The Glaswegian successfully negotiated a tough road to the final, taking the quarter final to a deciding set and winning against Denmark’s Sofie Holmboe Dahl 13-21, 21-16, 21-11.
She then faced Delphine Lansac in the semi-final who was forced to pull out through injury with Gilmour sitting on a comfortable 24-26, 21-14, 13-7 lead after re-asserting her presence in the second set.
The win is another boost to the Scot as she attempts to climb back up the world rankings following a major knee operation in October, which left her side-lined for four months.
The time-out caused Gilmour to slip 42 places in the rankings from an all-time Scottish high of 14th in the world.
But she has come back with gusto and risen back up to 45th after taking victory in France and winning the Austrian Open at the end of February.
Gilmour, who is preparing for the European Championships in Kolding, Denmark next month, said: “I think it was a really good tournament for me. I won Austria and it was kind of my first tournament back, but I feel like this one was maybe a little bit more satisfying.
“The general standard of the tournament was a little bit higher and I had to come through a few tough matches, really quite close ones and long three set matches. Just to consistently put in those performances, I’m really satisfied with how it went.
“I always feel quite confident when games get really tight as I have quite a lot of confidence from the way things have gone in the past so when things to tend to get a bit sticky I just have some sort of belief I will come through the winner.”
Gilmour, who won silver at last year’s Europeans is confident that her knee troubles are now safely behind her, but due to the injury is likely to be unseeded in this year’s event.
She added: “I feel like I’m physically in a really good place, but because my rankings have dropped so much due to injury it’s going to be very unlikely that I will have a seeded position in the Europeans. Considering I was seeded second and got a silver medal last year it’s a bit of a drop.
“I’m going into the competition with a different mind-set from last year, but saying that you have to play everyone I guess.
“I don’t think people are going to want to come up against me in the second round. They wouldn’t normally have come up against me until the semis, so I think I’m going to be playing the dangerous floater card.”