Badminton stars Gilmour and Dunn back in action

Kirsty Gilmour is targeting success in Sweden this week
Kirsty Gilmour is targeting success in Sweden this week

Bothwell badminton star Kirsty Gilmour takes part in her first event of the year when heads for Uppsala this week where she will defend her Swedish Masters title.

The 21-year-old world number 27, who will also defend her Yonex Scottish National title in Perth at the end of January, is seeded second for the Swedish event, the first international competition of 2015.

She starts her title defence against Switzerland’s Sabrina Jaquet and is expected to meet seventh seed Petya Nedelcheva of Bulgaria in the quarter-finals and Danish third seed Lene Kjaersfeldt in the semis if the draw goes according to seeding.

Spain’s Beatriz Corrales is the top seed.

Meanwhile Motherwell’s Alex Dunn is part of a Scotland badminton quartet aiming to shine in Poland this week.

Dunn will be among the first Scottish players back international action in 2015 when a four-strong squad tackles the Polish under-19 Championships, starting today (Wednesday).

Dunn, who began the season by winning the singles title at the UK School Games, tackles the singles, partners Adam Hall (Mauchline) in the doubles and teams up with Holly Newall (Glasgow) in the mixed doubles. Edinburgh’s Julie McPherson completes the quartet.

In the singles Dunn begins his challenge against Bulgarian Daniel Nikolov while in the doubles he and Hall, who are joint fifth seeds, start with a bye.

In the mixed event Dunn and Newall take on Germany’s Jan Volker and Stine Kuspert in their opening match.