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Gilmour to leave GB programme

Kirsty Gilmour, Britain's leading women's singles player in the world rankings, is set to quit the GB badminton programme because she wants to maximise her chances of winning medals for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Kirsty Gilmour is leaving the GB Programme. Picture: SNS
Kirsty Gilmour is leaving the GB Programme. Picture: SNS

The profile of the 20-year-old, who is ranked 23rd in the world, appears to have been removed from the official squad list posted on the website GB Badminton shares with Badminton England and Herald Sport understands that follows problems that have arisen over her newly formed doubles partnership with Imogen Bankier.

Fellow Scot Bankier, a world championship silver medallist and Britain's top female doubles player, withdrew from the Milton Keynes GB programme little more than a year ago after disagreements with coaches over her schedule.

It consequently looked inevitable that the announcement in November that Gilmour was entering a string of events with Bankier in bidding to enhance their Commonwealth Games medal chances would not be well-received by the GB management.

What seems ever more clear is that there are philosophical differences regarding the importance of the Commonwealth Games between the Scots and, in particular Jens Grill, the Dane who is the GB programme's performance director. Badminton Scotland's targets and, consequently, funding are dependent on Games performance, while for Gilmour, who hails from Lanarkshire before being schooled in Glasgow and Glaswegian Bankier the prospect of taking part in a home Games represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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