Badminton in Sport Focus as Scottish Open Begins

November 22, 2019

Featuring at every Commonwealth Games since it was first included in 1966, Badminton is next up in our ‘Celebrating Our Past, Building Our Future’ Sport Focus, which features all 25 sports in which Scotland has competed at the Commonwealth Games.

With the Scottish Open underway in Glasgow, where Gold Coast 2018 Mixed Doubles pairing Adam Hall and Julie MacPherson are off to a winning start and into round two, as are up-and-coming pair Alex Dunn and Ciara Torrence who toppled the fifth seeded New Zealanders to the delight of the home crowd. Men’s Doubles pair Alastair Campbell and Callum Smith were also winners on the opening day as they took an incredibly close match against  over Wales’ Tsung Fong Mo and Victor Pang. With the quialifying match finishing 22-20, 19-21, 21-17 in the Scots’ favour, Campbell and Smith will take their place in the first round today.

Look out for everything Badminton related on our website and social media channels in the coming weeks as we follow all the action from the Scottish Open as well as looking back at Commonwealth Games success for Scotland’s players from Mixed Doubles bronze at those first Games to Kirsty Gilmour winning her second Singles medal at Gold Coast 2018. We also look ahead to the rising stars targeting Birmingham 2022.

Badminton at the Commonwealth Games

Badminton was first included at the Commonwealth Games of 1966 in Kingston, Jamaica where Scotland were straight off the mark with Mixed Doubles bronze for Muriel Ferguson and Robert McCoig. McCoig also made it to the Singles semi-finals, losing out to eventual gold medallist Tan Aik Huang of Malaysia and just missing out on a medal as Dinesh Khanna of India proved too strong in the bronze play-off. Malaysia and England dominated in 1966, winning all five gold medals on offer between them, as well as four of the five silver medals. Both nations have remained forces to be reckoned with and top the all-time medal table in the sport.

The home Games of 1970 and the following Games of 1974 saw no medal success for Scotland, the best result a Men’s Doubles 4th place for Fraser Gow and Robert McCoig in 1974, going one game up in the bronze medal match but unable to hold on. At Edmonton 1978 however, Scotland were back on the rostrum courtesy of Mixed Doubles pair Joanna Flockhart and Billy Gilliland who took silver, beaten only by World Championship medallists Mike Tredgett and Nora Parry in the final.

While the home Games of 1970 had yielded no medals, it was a different story as the Games returned to Edinburgh in 1986. Billy Gilliland followed his silver from 1978 with gold in the Men’s Doubles alongside Dan Travers (still Scotland’s only Badminton gold to date) and bronze in the Mixed Doubles with Christine Heatly.

Scotland were back on the badminton podium at Kuala Lumpur 1998 as Elinor Middlemiss and Sandra Watt took Women’s Doubles bronze. Both were also part of the bronze medal winning Mixed Team four years later at Manchester 2002. Another member of that team, Susan Hughes, went on to win Scotland’s first Commonwealth Games Singles medal at Melbourne 2006 with bronze.

Back on home soil at Glasgow 2014, Badminton added to Team Scotland’s record medal tally through Mixed Doubles bronze for Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair as well as Women’s Singles silver for Kirsty Gilmour. Gilmour was back on the podium at Gold Coast 2018, this time winning bronze by defeating Canadian Michelle Li who had beaten her to gold in Glasgow.

Find out more about Badminton in the Commonwealth Games, including the competition format, rules and equipment on our dedicated Badminton page.

Team Scotland Badminton Medallists

Kingston 1966 Muriel Ferguson, Robert McCoig
Edmonton 1978 Joanna Flockhart, Billy Gilliland
Edinburgh 1986 Billy Gilliland, Dan Travers, Christine Heatly
Kuala Lumpur 1998 Elinor Middlemiss, Sandra Watt
Manchester 2002 Mixed Team: Bruce Flockhart, Alastair Gatt, Russell Hogg, Craig Robertson, Graham Simpson, Graeme Smith, Susan Hughes, Kirsteen McEwan, Elinor Middlemiss, Fiona Sneddon, Sandra Watt, Yuan Wemyss
Melbourne 2006 Susan Hughes
Glasgow 2014 Robert Blair, Imogen Bankier, Kirsty Gilmour
Gold Coast 2018 Kirsty Gilmour

Click here for full details of Team Scotland’s Badminton medallists

Youth Games Success

Badminton has made three Commonwealth Youth Games appearances, the first at Bendigo 2004 followed by Pune 2008 and Isle of Man 2011 and has one of the best records of any sport in athletes progressing onto senior Commonwealth Games. Of the 14 players selected for Team Scotland at a Youth Games, seven have gone on to senior Commonwealth Games, with two athletes – Imogen Bankier and Kirsty Gilmour – winning medals.

Team Scotland have won two Youth Games Badminton medals to date, Martin Campbell Scotland’s first Youth Games Badminton medallist with bronze in the Men’s Singles at Pune 2008 before going on to represent Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018. Kirsty Gilmour followed suit in 2011, winning Women’s Singles bronze and remains the only Scottish badminton player to date to win medals at both Youth Games and Commonwealth Games.

Scotland at the Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games is the only occasion where Scotland gets to compete in a multi-sport event as a nation in its own right and is one of only six countries to have competed in every Commonwealth Games since their inception in Hamilton in 1930. Represented by 15 athletes participating in six sports at those first Games, winning a very creditable 10 medals, Scotland have gone on to win medals at every Games since.

Edinburgh became the first city to hold the Games twice in 1970 and 1986 and also became the first city to host the Commonwealth Youth Games.

Scotland hosted the Games for a third time when Glasgow welcomed athletes and officials to the XXth Commonwealth Games which was held from 23rd July – 3rd August 2014. Team Scotland celebrated their most successful Games in history, winning a total of 53 medals and went on to record their highest overseas medal tally ever at Gold Coast 2018.

Find out more about the Commonwealth Games and Team Scotland’s past success in our Past Games section.

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