WEDNESDAY’S draw for this weekend’s Yonex Scottish National Championships features several Lanarkshire badminton stars in key matches.
The competition, which will be held at Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth, could see Lanark’s Kenny Young come up against second seed Kieran Merrilees of Glasgow in the men’s singles semi-final if the draw unravels according to seeding, although former champion Gordon Thomson (Glasgow) may stand in Kenny’s way.
Rising star Kirsty Gilmour, the 15-year-old Bank of Scotland Under-17 champion from Bothwell, is expected to meet Glasgow’s Linda Sloan in the women’s singles semi-final.
Bellshill’s Andrew Bowman teams up with Edinburgh’s Jillie Cooper, the Bank of Scotland international women’s doubles champ, in the mixed doubles.
The second seeds will start with a second-round clash with Keith Turnbull from Larkhall and Kirsten Geals of Mauchline.
If it goes according to seeding, Bowman and Cooper are expected to face-off against Emma Mason (Glasgow ) and Thomas Bethell (Livingston) in the semi-finals.
Bowman is bidding for his third men’s doubles title and his partner David Gilmour from Bothwell – Kirsty’s uncle – his fifth crown.
They begin with a second-round clash against Ryan Clunie from Westhill and Kilmarnock’s Robert Lynch.
They should, according to seeding, progress to meet join-third seeds David Forbes and Stewart Kerr, both from Glasgow, in the semi-finals.
Edinburgh pair Michael Campbell and 21-time national champion Kenny Middlemiss have formed a ‘youth and experience’ partnership and have a first-round bye.
They lie in wait for Jamie Neill (Hamilton) and Turnbull, if they win their opening match.
In total 89 players from across Scotland will contest the Yonex Scottish Nationals, which run from Friday till Sunday, and Anne Smillie, chief executive of BADMINTONscotland, is delighted with the response.
She said: “It is heartening to see so many entries for what promises to be a great Yonex Scottish National Championships.
“It is a chance for some of the young, emerging players to test themselves against our international stars.
“It also offers the public a chance to see in action the players who will be representing Scotland in the European Team Championship in Liverpool in mid-February.”