Badminton player, Kirsty Gilmour is one of an elite band of 16 Scottish athletes who have used their participation in the Commonwealth Youth Games as the ideal springboard to success at senior level.
Kirsty, who won a bronze medal in the Women’s Singles at the last Youth Games in the Isle of Man in 2011, and followed up with a silver medal on the final day of competition in Glasgow last summer, is now looking to build on her Commonwealth Games pedigree as she heads into her 2015 campaign.
Scotland’s highest-ranked singles player has her sights firmly set on the start of the year-long Olympic qualifying race in May.
But first the 21-year-old is eager to get back into action after her Christmas break, starting with the Swedish Masters in Uppsala from January 15-18 when she defends her women’s singles title.
Gilmour, who is second seed in Sweden behind Spain’s Beatriz Corrales, starts with a tricky first-round test against Swiss rival Sabrina Jaquet.
They are 2-2 in head to heads with Gilmour, who is ranked 21 places higher at No.27 in the world, winning the most recent clash in November as Scotland qualified for the European Mixed Team Finals.
She said: “I’m excited to get started with this section of my season.
“Of course, my sights are set on Olympic qualifying beginning in May but I have a few events in the meantime.
“I’m especially focused on the Yonex Scottish Nationals in Perth at the end of this month and then the European Mixed Team Finals in Belgium from February 11-15.
“I will have some difficult games in Belgium that I hope to learn from and take into Olympic qualification.”
Gilmour is the highest ranked GB contender by far in women’s singles as she aims to follow up Susan Egelstaff’s achievement of being one of two Scotland players in the four-strong GB squad at London 2012.
Photo credit: Rebecca Lee