Titles joy as Kirsty and Alex land Euro crowns

Kirsty Gilmour (left) after beating Beatriz Corrales in the Swedish Masters final
Kirsty Gilmour (left) after beating Beatriz Corrales in the Swedish Masters final

Badminton stars Kirsty Gilmour and Alex Dunn got their 2015 campaigns off cracking starts with prestigious international victories last weekend.

Kirsty, from Bothwell, retained her Swedish Masters title in Uppsala without dropping a game throughout the tournament.

And Alex, from Motherwell, landed his first international title when he teamed up with Mauchline’s Adam Hall to win the doubles at the Polish Junior Championships in Lubin.

In Uppsala Kirsty swept aside top seed Beatriz Corrales of Spain 21-18 21-9 to lift the trophy for the second year running.

Corrales, ranked three places higher at No. 23 in the world, had also reached the final without dropping a game and the two players went into the final at 1-1 in head-to-head results.

But Commonwealth Games silver medalist Gilmour snatched a tight opener with a three-point burst after the Spanish player had cut a three-point deficit to draw level at 18-18.

And in the second game she took charge from 3-3 and led 11-5 at the interval before powering on to a 37-minute victory.

The victory keeps her flying high in the world’ rankings and should guarantee a place in the main draw when the entries for the year’s first MetLife BWF World Superseries event, the Yonex All England Championships, are confirmed on Friday.

But it also gives the highest-ranked GB women’s singles player a big boost in an important year, with the 12-month Olympic qualifying race beginning in May.

Gilmour began her first tournament of the year with an emphatic 21-9 21-12 first-round win over Sabrina Jaquet of Switzerland and the second seed followed that up with a 21-9 21-11 victory against Estonia’s Kati Tolmoff.

She then defeated Bulgarian seventh seed Petya Nedelcheva 21-16 21-14 to set up a semi-final clash with France’s sixth seed Sashina Vignes Waran.

And despite trailing 9-6 in the opening game and 16-11 in the second, she battled back to book her place in the final with a 21-13 21-17 success.

Kirsty’s triumph, and the success of Alex Dunn, delighted BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie.

She said: “I am delighted for Kirsty. That was just the start to the year that she wanted.

“Well done, too, to Alex and Adam. Winning this title is a great way to start the year.”

Alex Dunn won his first international title when he and Mauchline’s Adam Hall took the boys’ doubles at the Polish Junior Championships in Lubin.

The pair clinched the title with a 21-11 21-18 win over Germany’s Bjorne Geiss and Daniel Seifert in the final, despite trailing 15-12 in the second game.

Like Kirsty Gilmour in Sweden, Dunn took the title without dropping a game throughout.

Seeded only joint fifth, he and Hall got a first round bye before a 21-15 21-13 win over German pair Jan Felix Matulat and Jan Colin Volker.

Next up were Ukranians Danylo Bosniuk and Ivan Druzchenko who were outplayed and despatched 21-14 21-12.

That set up a semi-final against home favourites Aleksander Jablonski and Pawel Smilowski which the young Scots won 21-16 21-15.

Dunn also took part in the singles and the mixed doubles.

In the singles he defeated Daniel Nikolov (Bulgaria) 21-8 21-18, Hungary’s Balazs Szenjai 17-21 21-19 21-6 and France’s Thomas Baures 21-17 21-16 before going out to Spanish top seed Luis Enrique Penalver.

In the mixed event Dunn and Mauchline’s Holly Newall beat German pair Jan Colin Volker and Stine Susan Kuspert before losing to France’s Vincent Medina and Yaelle Hoyaux.