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Badminton: can Scots upset English, Malaysian dominance?

Experts will tell you that a shuttlecock flies around the court at up to 300 kilometres per hour.

Put into context, that is the equivalent of a Ferrari Enzo supercar coming towards you at top speed …through the air. Then you have to hit it back.

We are talking, of course, about badminton. At Glasgow 2014, six gold medallists will emerge from 11 days of competition at the Emirates Arena in the East End.

A look back at the history of the sport reveals a Malaysian and English dominance. Since 1966, six of the 10 badminton men's singles gold medallists have hailed from the Southern Asian nation, with Lee Chong Wei, twice an Olympic silver medallist, the current champion.

In fact, the 31-year-old's statistics make for impressive reading - he's the twice defending Commonwealth champion, having claimed the crown in Melbourne in 2006 and the 2010 Delhi Games, as well as holding the world number one ranking for a remarkable 199 weeks in a row until June 2012.

Scotland's local hopes will have stiff competition then, in front of their home crowd. However, there are certainly a few within the ranks who will have ideas on claiming a medal when the competition starts.

With selection for Team Scotland yet to be confirmed, the first goal will be to reach the Emirates but, for those who do make it, a Scottish medal is a distinct possibility.

In the men's event, challenging the likes of Wei and Olympic champion Lin Dan, from China, will be Glasgow's own Kieran Merrilees. The 24-year-old, who triumphed in the men's singles event at the Yonex Scottish National Championships in February, will be hoping to make the transition from regional success to international recognition.

A former youth Olympian, as part of the 2007 Team GB team who travelled to Sydney, Merrilees will be competing in his second Commonwealth Games, having reached the last eight stage of the Mixed Team event in Delhi four years ago.

On the woman's side of the draw, Team Scotland will have high hopes for Kirsty Gilmour. As a 16-year-old four years ago, Gilmour travelled to Delhi and joined Merrilees in the Mixed Team run to the Commonwealth Quarter Finals.

Now the 20-year-old is ranked 18the in the world, and will concentrate on her Commonwealth charge after the European Championships later this month in Kazan, Russia, where she is the second seed in the singles event.

These are just two of the home-grown medal hopes for Glasgow, and with the home crowd proving an advantage to Team Scotland in the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh - where its record haul of 33 medals included a men's badminton doubles gold for Dan Travers and Billy Gilliland - we could be celebrating more success on the court when the medals are awarded.

In the coming weeks, we'll be looking back to more success in Commonwealth events for Team Scotland, as well as analysing the medal favourites from across the Commonwealth who are heading to Glasgow with gold in their sights.

We'll also tell the story of a local badminton legend that will be a part of the Queen's Baton relay this year as we count down the days to the greatest sporting show in Glasgow's history.

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