Kirsty Gilmour wins sixth straight Scottish badminton crown

Kirsty Gilmour in action at Scottish Championships (Pic by Lorraine Hill)
Kirsty Gilmour in action at Scottish Championships (Pic by Lorraine Hill)

Bothwell badminton star Kirsty Gilmour was thrilled to win an incredible SIXTH consecutive Yonex Scottish National Championships women’s singles title on Sunday.

Top seed Kirsty (23) was competing for the first time since last summer’s Olympic Games in Brazil after undergoing knee surgery.

But she proved she was back to full tournament fitness at Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth by repeating last year’s final victory over Julie MacPherson, this time taking just 28 minutes to win 21-11 21-7.

Kirsty said: “I wouldn’t have played the Nationals if I wasn’t 100 per cent ready. It’s not just a starter tournament for me. It’s one I want to go out and win and keep on winning.

“It was really important for me to be fit for this one and I’m really glad that 17 weeks after my operation and here I am flying around the court as usual.”

Kirsty followed up her sensational singles triumph just two hours later by also landing the mixed doubles title in partnership with Patrick MacHugh.

Despite being the only unseeded players in any of the five finals, they took the title with a 23-21 21-16 over Martin Campbell and old rival MacPherson.

Kirsty later tweeted: “Can’t explain how good it feels to be back competing. Won my 6th National Singles title and wouldn’t you know it.”

BADMINTONscotland’s new head coach, Malaysian Tat Meng Wong, attended all three days of the Nationals and watched European and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Gilmour dispose of 2014 and 2015 runner-up Holly Newall in the semi-final 21-8 21-15, before also proving too strong for MacPherson in the final.

Sunday’s successes meant Gilmour had not only matched her haul of two titles over each of the previous four years but she became the first player since Rita Yuan Gao 15 years ago to hold National titles in three different events, Gilmour’s tally standing at six singles, four women’s doubles and one mixed.

MacPherson must have feared history was going to repeat itself when she finished runner-up in the singles after her three runners-up spots last year.

But she finally broke her title duck when she and Eleanor O’Donnell won the women’s doubles with a 21-19 19-21 21-16 victory over top seeds Rebekka Findlay and Caitlin Pringle in a 62-minute match.

But top singles honours still went to Bellshill-born Gilmour, who is back in the winners circle yet again.

Other career highlights for Kirsty include taking women’s singles silver medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2016 Euros.