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Sudirman Cup would bring glitter to Scotland's golden era

SCOTTISH badminton is looking to cash in on its "golden era" by bringing one of the sport's most prestigious competitions, the Sudirman Cup, back to Glasgow in 2017.

Emma Mason was a member of the home team the last time Scotland hosted the Sudirman Cup in 2007
Emma Mason was a member of the home team the last time Scotland hosted the Sudirman Cup in 2007

Officials announced yesterday that they have launched a bid to bring the world mixed team championships to the Commonwealth Games host city for a third time, after staging them previously in both 1997 and 2007.

Inaugurated in 1989, the tournament then also encompassed the world individual championships but in recent years it has evolved into a stand-alone team event.

The Scottish game was boosted at last year's Sudirman Cup when the team was ranked seventh of the eight teams in the second tier of the competition but went unbeaten through its programme, beating the Netherlands to claim top spot in that section.

The way in which that performance demonstrated unprecedented strength in depth across the men's and women's games encouraged Ronnie Conway, the president of Badminton Scotland, to claim at this week's Commonwealth Games team announcement that this is a "golden era" for the Scottish game.

Meanwhile, the players' efforts on court have been matched by those of their officials who have been trail-blazers for minority domestic sport in pulling together the necessary infrastructure and funding to stage a world class annual event in the Scottish Open Grand Prix.

That experience, combined with a desire to maximise opportunities to showcase Scottish talent in front of a home audience, has led to confidence in the bid's success among the great and good of Scottish badminton.

"We have a fabulous new arena which is perfect for world-class badminton," said Anne Smillie, the chief executive of Badminton Scotland. "On top of that Scotland fans know we have built a strong squad of players and many of them are young enough to still be competing three years from now for what will be the 15th Sudirman Cup."

A decision will be made at a meeting of the Badminton World Federation in October.

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