On the penultimate day of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Badminton ace Kirsty Gilmour replicated her medal winning feat from Glasgow four years ago, this time landing bronze on the Gold Coast in the Women’s Singles.
Playing Michelle Li, the Canadian who beat her in the final in 2014, in the bronze medal match, Gilmour was on ferocious form and there was no way she was going home without a medal.
Returning to the court after a tough loss against Indian Saina Nehwal earlier in the day, Gilmour wasted little time asserting her authority on the match, winning the first game 21-11 as her opponent struggled. The second game was a closer affair in the opening stages, but Gilmour soon found her rhythm once more, moving her opponent around the court and racing towards 21 points. Seeing the match out 21-16 Gilmour was naturally ecstatic.
What makes her feat even more impressive though is that until now, Gilmour has never beaten her Canadian arch-nemesis.
Of her efforts Gilmour said: “This is overwhelming – a combination of happiness and relief. It was difficult today, as my semi-final was so close and I fought so hard – I’ve never been in the position where I’ve had to go again. There was a lot going on in my head and it was a big challenge, so to be standing here now as bronze medallist is amazing.“
Earlier in the day Gilmour fought tooth and nail in a truly epic semi-final match against World Championship bronze medallist Nehwal, the Indian eventually prevailing 2-1.
In a grueling match lasting over 75 minutes Gilmour gave herself way too much work to do, trailing heavily early in each of the three games. After losing the first the gritty Scot produced a stunning fight-back from 11-3 down to take the game 21-18 and set up the decider. Once again it was too little too late though, as despite saving two match points she eventually succumbed to the Indian 21-17.
“I love a comeback – it’s never over until its over. I did it in the last game, so I knew that anything was possible and I back myself in those situations. I left it a bit too late today, but I feel like I had a good game and I managed my game plan reasonably well. She’s not former world number one for no reason.”