Kirsty Gilmour made history with Scotland’s best ever European Badminton Championship result, as she took silver in the French town of La Roche sur Yon.
Following a tough semi-final battle against Anna Thea Madsen of Denmark, in which Gilmour triumphed 21-19 in the third and final game, title holder and double World champion Carolina Marin awaited her in the final. While the Spaniard proved too strong this time, winning 21-12 21-18, Gilmour was delighted to add her second major championship medal to Commonwealth silver in Glasgow two years ago.
“It’s very satisfying to win silver, definitely one for the CV,” she said.
“Today’s a day for celebrating and tomorrow we’ll feel the lull. At least I will wake up and say ‘yeah, I’ve got a silver medal at the European Championships,’ which is pretty cool.
“It’s the second time it could have been gold at a major championships following the Commonwealth Games but everything at this age is a learning curve. Caro is the same age but has a lot more experience at the top level. I will learn from anyone who is world class standard. Every game you go on is a learning curve.”
It was a significant step for the 22 year old, as she targets the Rio Olympics in August, and Scotland’s highest placing since the European Championships began in 1968. Gilmour also becomes the first Scot to take a singles medal, all previous medals having come in the doubles. Gilmour’s Glasgow 2014 team mate, Imogen Bankier, won mixed doubles bronze in 2012 with England’s Chris Adcock, and in women’s doubles, with Bulgarian, Petya Nedelcheva, two years ago.
The result should see Gilmour climb into the world top 20, with the Olympic qualifying period closing later this week, but she will in no way be resting on her laurels.
“I have a rest week so I am going to put my feet up for a couple of days, but badminton is never far from your mind, especially this year. It’s been a long year in one sense and a short one in another. There’s still more to do and a few more tournaments before Rio.”