SCOTS badminton star Kirsty Gilmour settled her tournament nerves and breezed through her first match of the TOTAL BWF World Badminton Championships in Glasgow.
She beat India’s Rituparna Das in straight games 21-16 21-13 and now faces China’s sixth seed He Bingjiao, a two-time BWF Superseries tournament championon.
The two have met before and Gilmour planned to review the video and her notes from that game.
“It feels like I’ve been watching the tournament for about a week now, so I was just so happy to get on court,” she said.
“I’d had a lot of preparation, that’s why I chose to see some matches rather than sitting and waiting.
“I’ve dealt with it really well so far and I was feeling good out there – I’ve got rid of some nerves now.
“I’ve felt a bit of pressure but I’ve been using it in a positive way, just choosing to do something with the situation rather than letting it do something to me.
“I’ve definitely played the most amount of games in this hall out of anybody in this tournament. I’ve used the good ones and the bad ones and learnt a lot each time.
“But I still used that match to get used to the hall, I’m sure the drift will change tomorrow and I left a couple of shots that I maybe shouldn’t have.”
Next up across the net for Gilmour will be China’s sixth seed He Bingjiao – a two-time BWF Superseries tournament champion.
The two have met only once before, coming at the Syed Modi International Championships in 2016 when Gilmour triumphed 21-16 21-18, and she’s confident more success is on the agenda with the backing of the vociferous home crowd.
“I love playing in front of the Scottish crowd every single time, they never disappoint,” she added.
“I use it as another person and I can hear individual voices in the crowd, rather than blocking it out I choose to use it positively – I just love playing in front of a home crowd.
“I’ll play the Chinese sixth seed in the next round, I’ve played her before so I’ll be looking to get hold of that video and review my notes. I’ll be ready.”
It was the end of the Glasgow road too for England’s Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker, as they bowed out with a 21-10 21-14 loss to the Korean fifth seeds, Jung Kyung Eun and Shin Seung Chan.
The TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships 2017 is being staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena until Sunday August 27i.
It is being delivered by BADMINTONscotland in partnership with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council and with funding support from EventScotland and The National Lottery through UK Sport.
Tickets are available at www.glasgow2017.com/tickets