Kirsty is all set to live her Olympic dream

Rutherglen Reformer - - Rio 2016 -

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.”

RIO BOUND

Golden girl Kirsty Gil­mour in ac­tion

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