Scotland badminton stars Australia bound despite funding threat

By Gillian McPherson

It has been confirmed that Glaswegian star Kirsty Gilmour and her Scottish teammates will still be heading to the World Mixed Team Championships despite other UK players being forced to pull out due to a lack of funding.

In February it was revealed that GB Badminton’s elite programme was being removed from the list of sports receiving financial backing from the UK Government.

The move means that Badminton England have now been forced to announce that they will no longer be taking part in May’s Sudirman Cup in Australia’s Gold Coast.

But the Scotland Team and Gilmour, who recently came back from serious injury to win back to back international events, will still have the chance to shine at the event.

Badminton Scotland spokesperson Peter Dean said: “Yes we are still sending a team and have already made a decision to go.”

Gilmour will travel to Australia along with teammates Martin Campbell, Adam Hall, Patrick MacHugh, Kieran Merrilees, Rebekka Findlay, Julie MacPherson and Eleanor O’Donnell.

However, due to the English withdrawal they will now face a new opponent when they head to the competition widely seen as an unofficial test event for the Commonwealth Games to be held at the same venue next year.

Originally the Scottish team were scheduled to face Germany, Vietnam and Canada at the 27 country event, but following England’s departure from the tournament’s line-up, Germany have since been promoted to Group 1.

The development means that Scotland will now face Vietnam, Canada and New Zealand in Group 2A after the Kiwis were moved up to replace Germany.

They head into the championships as the second highest ranked team in Group 2A behind Vietnam and ace Kirsty can’t wait to get started in the competition.

She said: “I think we have a few young players in the team and from my own experience team events in big arenas are vital in their development for the future.

“The Sudirman Cup will give them a great opportunity to feel what it’s like to play in those conditions, but with a full team behind them for support.

“For me, the more I can play in a hall the better feeling I get, so to have the chance to play in the same arena that the Commonwealth Games will be played in, will be great preparation.

“I love team events so I can’t wait to play.”

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