Kirsty Gilmour says she is determined to rediscover her 2017 form and bring home a singles medal from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The Bellshill badminton ace had a stellar campaign last year despite a knee injury that disrupted the early part of her season. She reached the quarter-finals of the 2017 World Championships in Glasgow and secured three tournament wins, including more success on home soil as she broke her duct in the Scottish Open in November.
Gilmour is one of Scotland’s strong medal hopes for the Games, having won silver at Glasgow 2014 and competed at the Rio Olympics two years later, and was typically full of ambition for the singles after competing for Scotland in the team event in Australia.
Early exits in four tournaments this year might bring about concern in lesser athletes, but Gilmour expressed confidence about her Gold Coast chances, aiming to produce once again on the big stage.
She said: “Last year was a bit of an up and down for me. I started with a knee injury so I really had quite low expectations of how it would go. But in August I had a really good run at the World Championships, I got to the quarter-finals.
“I then managed to finally win the Scottish Open, which has been on my career bucket list since I started going to that event when I was 12, so that was probably my highlight.
“Playing in front of a Glasgow crowd is something I never take for granted, it is the best feeling. And I get to do that for a job, it’s so fun.
“For us there has been a lot of work to do in the build-up to Gold Coast. There wasn’t much time to stop and just focus on training, we have had to continue to compete and try and build up points for that seeding position.
“It’s been manic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Playing at the highest level of sport does take its toll on the body, though, and the world No.18 is quick to acknowledge that the support she receives from the sportscotland institute of sport, in partnership with Badminton Scotland, is invaluable in keeping her in the shape she needs to be competitive.
She added: “sportscotland and the institute have been unwaveringly supportive since I was about 12 or 13. I got in early and that was pivotal to my career with all the support that I get from strength and conditioning, physio, nutrition, psychology. It’s all in there and it’s everything I could possibly need as an athlete.”
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