With less than 2 week to go until the XX Commonwealth Games, the 10 selected Team Scotland badminton players have been intensively training in the heart of Glasgow ahead of moving into the Athlete’s Village in just over a week’s time.
It’s been a demanding year for the players, who have gone through an intensive selection period leading up to the Games. In order to achieve selection, athletes had to achieve an event-specific Badminton World Federation (BWF) world ranking placing for at least four weeks, one week of which had to be in 2014.
With six Badminton Gold medals on offer over the 11 days of competition Caitlin Pringle and Rebekka Findlay, who is in line for her Scotland senior international debut in the team event, lets us know how preparations have been going.
Caitlin Pringle said: “Over the last little while we have been training at the Glasgow school of Sport, it’s a great venue and really close to the Athlete’s Village we are moving into in a week or so. Now it’s really about upping the intensity of our training and making sure we are games ready.
“We are now all able to train with our partners, as quite a lot of the others don’t always train here in Glasgow; it’s great to really get to know everyone, we have really bonded as a team and are working well together.”
Findlay added: “Both Caitlin and I have only been training and playing together for a season. At the start of this season I wouldn’t have imagined making the Commonwealth Games Team, we didn’t even have a World ranking!”
“We were put together last summer, Caitlin called me while I was away on holiday and told me were off to Bulgaria for our first competition. At this point we were ranked around 700th in the world and in the short space of time we have had, we have managed to bring this down and get into the top 90 in the world, which we are really proud of. It’s taken a lot of hard work and travelling but we have done it together.”
Looking ahead to the Commonwealth Games Pringle said: “We experienced a home crowd at the Scottish International in November and it was a phenomenal experience, I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like in the arena.”
“It’s so exciting but also nerve-raking at the same time as I don’t know what to expect. I am really looking forward to that home crowd cheer as soon as we walk out, knowing that support is their behind you, allows us to then concentrate on our game.”
Selected athletes will compete at the Emirates Arena in the Team Events from 24 July. This event comprises a group stage, followed by knockout matches, with each team needing three wins to be successful from the five singles and doubles disciplines. From 29 Jul, players will then compete in an individual knockout competition for Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles and in the Mixed Doubles events.
Photo credit: Commonwealth Games Scotland