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Commonwealth Games 2014: Will It Be Great Scots?

Kieran Merrilees and Kirsty Gilmour will carry the weight of the host nation’s expectations in singles when the Commonwealth Games’ quarter-finals take place later today.

Both raised prospects of Scottish medals in the singles competition but it is Merrilees (BWF home page) who will have a tougher path to the podium as looming in his way is England top gun Rajiv Ouseph whom he must beat for a semi-final place in Men’s Singles. The latter progressed to the last eight, sweeping aside Singapore’s Huang Chao, 21-15 21-15, while 24-year-old Merrilees defeated Northern Ireland’s Tony Murphy, 21-15 21-8.

Women’s Singles No.2 seed Gilmour, having lost in Women’s Doubles, can now channel all her efforts into solo success as she takes on Michelle Chan of New Zealand. The Scotswoman had an easy 21-4 21-6 outcome against Yeldy Louison of Mauritius (below) while Chan also advanced smoothly – 21-10 21-11 – versus Carissa Turner of Wales.

Scotland’s hopes will also be high in doubles with interest in both the Men’s and Mixed disciplines, with Robert Blair starring in both. Fresh from victory versus Canadian pair, Adrian Liu and Derrick Ng (21-18 21-13), Blair and Paul Van Rietvelde now face Danny Chrisnanta and Chayut Triyachart of Singapore for a spot in the final four of Men’s Doubles. Meanwhile, in Mixed Doubles, Blair – with partner Imogen Bankier – will again be across the net from Canada’s Derrick Ng who is paired with Phyllis Chan. The Scots (left) got the better of Terry Hee and Fu Mingtian of Singapore, winning 21-19 21-11 yesterday.

Having narrowly lost out in the Mixed Team bronze-medal showdown, India too is hoping for golden glory in the individual competition, with Women’s Singles top seed PV Sindhu and the upcoming PC Thulasi both reaching the quarter-finals as have three of their Men’s Singles compatriots – Kashyap Parupalli, Kidambi Srikanth and RV Gurusaidutt. Sindhu now faces New Zealand’s Anna Rankin while Thulasi will have to negotiate her way past Malaysia’s Tee Jing Yi. The other Women’s Singles quarter-finals will see Sarah Walker of England oppose Canada’s Michelle Li and Gilmour against Chan.

Gurusaidutt meets Men’s Singles top seed Chong Wei Feng of Malaysia while Srikanth’s rival is Derek Wong of Singapore and Parupalli faces another Malaysian, Daren Liew. India’s Women’s Doubles pair, Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa, are also in the mix, coming from a game down to oust Renuga Veeran and He Tian Tang of Australia – 18-21 21-10 21-6. They now tackle two 20-year-olds from Sri Lanka – Achini Rathnasiri and Upuli Weerasinghe (below). The latter came through – 22-20 18-21 21-19 – versus Anna Rankin and Madeleine Stapleton of New Zealand.

England’s husband-and-wife duo, Chris and Gabrielle Adcock, will fancy their chances of adding more silverware to the family collection as both are involved in two quarter-finals today. Together they play in Mixed Doubles and will then join their respective partners to compete for semi-final places in Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles. Their team-mates Chris Langridge and Peter Mills are also in the Men’s Doubles battle, having beaten Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon and Daren Liew  21-19 21-16 yesterday. Langridge is also in the Mixed Doubles quarter-finals with Heather Olver.

Australia’s Men’s Doubles pairs – Raymond Tam/Glenn Warfe and Robbin Middleton/Ross Smith (below) – have also advanced to the quarter-finals as have Malaysia’s Tan Wee Kiong and Goh V Shem.

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