Two-time defending women’s singles champion Kirsty Gilmour is “gutted” to be missing this week’s Scottish Open at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
A downgrading of this year’s tournament from ‘100’ to the lower ‘Challenge’ level means that Kirsty is staying in Asia playing tournaments in a bid to get the ranking points she needs to maintain her current top qualification spot in the UK squad for next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“It’s very strange not to be playing at the Scottish Open,” Bothwell ace Kirsty (26) told the Times and Speaker.
“Apart from one year I missed it due to my knee operation, I have played it for the last 10 years.
“I’m gutted not to be there; it’s simply because it has been downgraded.
“When it was a 100 Level event I got 5500 world ranking points for winning it in both 2017 and 2018.
“As it is only Challenge Level this year I would only get 4000 points for winning it.
“Basically I would have lost 1500 points even if I’d won in Glasgow. I had to pick a tournament that would match the 5500 points or go higher.”
So, instead of competing in Glasgow when the Scottish Open starts tomorrow (Thursday), Kirsty is today (Wednesday) in first round action at the $200,000 Gwangju Korea Masters, which offers the eventual women’s singles champion 7000 points.
She is looking for an improvement in results after recently suffering first round exits in China and Hong Kong.
“It’s tough not being in Scotland playing,” Kirsty added. “I think when I’m enjoying my badminton I play really well.
“My track record there would attest to that.”