Jan 25 2013 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser
Imogen Bankier will be aiming for her seventh mixed doubles title in a row at the Yonex Scottish National Championships at Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth from February 1-3.
But Bankier, who has won five times with Watson Briggs and once with Longniddry’s Paul Van Rietvelde, will not start as favourite for the title, despite teaming up with Briggs again.
The 2011 world mixed doubles silver medallist has been seeded second with Renfrew’s Briggs behind Glasgow pair Robert Blair and Jillie Cooper.
Van Rietvelde, who was runner-up last year with Cooper, will partner Bothwell’s Kirsty Gilmour and they are joint third seeds along with Patrick MacHugh and Caitlin Pringle in what is an extremely strong mixed doubles line-up.
Gilmour is No. 1 seed in the women’s singles, where she defends the title she won for the first time last year.
She is seeded to meet former champion Rita Yuan Gao, who is returning for the Championships from Switzerland, where she now coaches.
In the men’s singles Glasgow’s two-time champion Kieran Merrilees is top seed as he prepares to defend his title but two former champions are also among the seeds with Falkirk’s Calum Menzies at No. 2 and three-times champion Craig Goddard one of the four joint fifth seeds.
The Yonex Scottish National Championships are being held at the Bell’s Sports Centre for the 12th consecutive year, courtesy of Perth and Kinross Council, Perth and Kinross Sports Council and Live Active Leisure.
Tickets are available from BADMINTONscotland or from the Bell’s Sports Centre.