Gilmour Back with a Bang
Kirsty Gilmour announced her return to international competition this week by lifting the Austrian Open in Vienna in her first outing since an enforced break due to injury post Rio. The Scot, who played just her home nationals in the 6 months since the Olympics, came through the final against Fabienne Deprez after some tough form testing early round encounters.
This week’s Austrian Open was very much an us versus them competition as the historical influx of Asian opposition once again made life difficult for the European athletes in Vienna.
Gilmour came through early tests against Julie Dawall Jakobsen and Sofie Holmboe Dahl but the real measure of her form came in the quarter final where she played top seeded Japanese player Yui Hashimoto.
A mid game blip from Gilmour saw the Japanese level the match at 1-1 before the Scot became outright favourite to lift the title winning in the deciding set 21-18. After beating another Japanese in the semi-final Gilmour easily dispatched German Fabienne Deprez in the final after the German made a real battle of the opening game.
6 months out of the game the Gilmour appears to be the better for the break. The Scottish number one was obviously delighted after her victory.
“So happy to be back and to win my first International tournament after injury. It has been a great week.” said Gilmour via her official Facebook page.
In the men’s singles final, there was no joy for Pablo Abian. The Spanish number 1 had an exhausting week going the distance in both his quarter final and semi-final. Abain did manage to get a set from second seed Kanta Tsuneyama but ran out of steam in the decider with the Japanese lifting the title 21-11.
Mikkelsen & Surrow go from strength to strength.
Danish duo Mikkel Mikkelsen and Mai Surrow (pictured above en route to Swedish success last month) continue to go from strength to strength as a mixed doubles pair after winning the Swedish International only a few short weeks ago in Lund.
Today in Vienna the Danes claimed the top step of the podium again boxing at a level higher than their International Series success in Sweden.
The Danes cruised all the way to final without dropping a set but were still probable underdogs against Chinese pair Gao Xiangcheng and Xia Chunyu in the final showdown.
After trading the opening sets it was the Danes who emerged victorious coming through 21-14 winners in the end to lift their second circuit title in a month.
Japan emerged as the most successful nation on finals day adding the women’s doubles and men’s doubles to the men’s singles title. There was no joy for recently crowned Danish national champions Fladberg & Colberg who, in the last match of finals day, lost out in two games to top seeds Takuto Inoue & Yuki Kaneko in two games.
For all results from finals day in Vienna click HERE
Article by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe