(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Scotland stun second seeds: Underdogs to top dogs
Date: 2/14/2020 2:27 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
An amazing success story in today’s women’s quarterfinals is the presence of Scotland, who qualified as best runner-up. Today they faced a strong Russian team who won a bronze medal in their native Kazan two years ago. 

Kirsty Gilmour headed up the Scottish attack in the women’s singles against Evgeniya Kosetskaya, a player she knows well. Talking after her three-game marathon win, Gilmour said. 

-Kosetskaya may look like she is taking it easy, but that is just her style. She makes you work so hard for your points, and that is exactly what I had to do. In fact, that was my whole game plan – work hard. If I am able to bring that presence, it takes the edge off my opponent because they will know that they need to work even harder, and mentally that is quite tough. 

The match ended 21-11, 17-21, 21-18. After such a solid opening game, Gilmour explains what changed in the second game. 

-I actually told my coach after the first game, I wouldn’t be surprised if she comes out all guns blazing at 100 per cent and a million miles an hour. I don’t think she actually came out that fast, but the quality of my shots in the first game was not there, and it kind of got away from me. 

So stereotypically Scottish
Russia, the second seeds, are certainly favourites for this tie, but this did not faze Gilmour at all. 

-We love to be underdogs. Scotland are always the underdogs, but we are trying to change that. We are trying to be the top dogs. But we always go in with that fighting attitude that is so stereotypically Scottish and it is something we are consciously bringing to the match today. 

The fairy-tale continued when Rachel Sugden stunned Natalia Perminova, ranked over 300 places higher in the world, 21-18, 21-13. 

I am still shaking
A lot of pressure then fell on the young shoulders of Mariia Golubeva, who faced the prospect of keeping Russia in the tie against Julie Macpherson, who ordinarily has been playing in the doubles. The opening game went to Golubeva, but in an incredible surge to the finishing line from a long way out, Macpherson won the match, 17-21, 21-10, 21-13, making history in the process. 

This is the first time Scotland has medalled the European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships. They now go onto fight for which medal in tomorrow’s semi-final against Germany, who defeated Hungary 3-0. Macpherson after the match said.

-I feel amazing right now. I am still shaking. I just cannot believe we have beaten Russia 3-0. Everyone performed amazing today, so I think we deserved the win in the end. For me, especially in singles, I really can’t believe that. 

For the full list of fixtures and results, click here.

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