Kirsty Gilmour eyes crutches to Olympics journey after foot injury

Kirsty Gilmour
Kirsty Gilmour is ranked 29th in world badminton singles

Kirsty Gilmour says she will have to tread carefully to gather enough Olympic qualification points after entering the new year on crutches.

The 27-year-old suffered a foot injury in Scotland's mixed team European qualification match in Portugal.

Ranked world 29, she will return to play where most points are likely.

"I'm sitting in a pretty good, comfortable position, but I'd like to top off a few more points to make it 1000% certain," she tells BBC Scotland.

"I might have to go for efficiency rather than covering all bases. The best players will be at the top tournaments and other tournaments I will be ranked higher, so I'll work out the amount of work I'll have to do to get the number of points."

Gilmour, who has until May to secure her place in the British team for the summer Tokyo showpiece, won the SaarLorLux Open in Germany in November during a season curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic, but that did not count towards Olympic rankings.

More recently, she has been hampered by an injury that came when "I was probably the fittest I've ever been", which she puts down to fewer distractions from training during lockdown.

"Some bruised bones and a stress reaction in my foot, which is pre-fracture, so nothing broken," she explains. "I didn't even do anything cool. I wish I could say I had dived or twisted.

"I was playing my last match against Spain - it was a must-win overall match for the team. I'd lost the first set, but the momentum was in my favour, I was 4-1 up, I just played a normal shot from the back corner and heard a really big crunch.

"I've never had an injury where I've actually heard it. It's been three weeks now and it is one of the most frustrating injuries I've ever had because there is no rehab I can do."

Gilmour, who had only just recovered from a shoulder injury when she suffered her latest setback, was due to be travelling this weekend to Thailand for a tournament set up to help players return to competition.

"In the bigger picture of the year to come, it's not the be all and end all," she adds. "It doesn't go towards our Olympic ranking points."

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