Kirsty is all set to live her Olympic dream
A brilliant year of top quality badminton has led to Hamilton’s Kirsty Gilmour being named 11th women’s singles seed for the Olympic Games in Rio.
The seedings, based on the Badminton World Federation rankings, sees the Commonwealth Games and European Championships silver medallist remain at her careerbest No.15 in the world.
Spain’s double world and double European champion Carolina Marin is top seed, with China’s Wang Yihan and defending champion Li Xuerui second and third.
Marin and Gilmour are the only two Europeans among the 13 seeds, with Asia providing the rest – two each from China, Thailand, India, Japan, Korea and one from Chinese Taipei.
The 40-strong line-up will be split into 13 groups, with a seed in each group.
Kirsty, who is ahead of Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand and Bae Yeon Ju from Korea in the seedings, was drawn in Group D against Linda Zetchiri (Bulgaria) and Sabrina Jaquet (Switzerland).
She said: “I’m pretty happy with 11th – I think with the world rankings I was expecting to be about 13th, so it’s a nice little boost.
“It means I avoid the real top dogs in the group stages.
“It will still be very strong opposition and extremely tough, but I will avoid the top 10, which is nice.
“It’s nice to be able to get into a flow with things, which will help because I’ve not really been involved in a group stage before, so it gives me a chance to find my feet.
“I suppose I am more confident; I was always expecting to be, but 11th seed is very positive and a little boost, so I’m really happy.”
And positive Kirsty says she believes she can come home with a medal from Rio.
She said: “It would be crazy not to think that something could happen and it isn’t a case of me turning up. I want to push these top guys all the way and see what can happen.
“I want to go to Rio the best way and in the best shape possible. I want to go out there really strong and compete with the big guns. I want to really challenge them.
“It’s a major event so anything can happen so I will be looking to put in good performances and with good performances there could be big wins.”
“I’m really excited. I didn’t really take much notice of Athens but once the Beijing Olympics came around I was like ‘wow, this is pretty big, this is a huge deal’, and then I was part of London under the GB Ambition Programme.
“It has been gradual but to know that I’m officially in the team is really cool. It’s such an individual sport so to be part of a team is really special and it’s a great team atmosphere.
“Walking around the village, if you see someone in GB kit you nod and say ‘hello’ even though you don’t know that person, which is really nice.
“I’m Scottish and it’s great that there is a smaller team within a bigger team and you cross paths with athletes, which is nice.”
Golden girl Kirsty Gilmour in action