Bothwell badminton ace Kirsty Gilmour on way to Tokyo Olympics

Bothwell’s Kirsty Gilmour has been picked for the Great Britain badminton squad for the Tokyo Olympics.

Kirsty Gilmour playing a women's singles group-stage badminton match during the 2nd European Games in June 2019 in Belarus (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The Commonwealth Games silver and bronze medallist will be the only Briton competing in the women’s singles event at the Japanese Olympics, due to begin on Friday, July 23.

Set to compete in her second consecutive Olympics, the 27-year-old is part of a seven-strong British team announced on Monday despite continuing uncertainty over whether the event will in fact go ahead.

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Joining Gilmour, eliminated in the group stage of the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, in the squad are Chloe Birch, Lauren Smith, Marcus Ellis, Toby Penty, Sean Vendy and Ben Lane.

Other sports and disciplines, including athletics, are expected to confirm their Team GB entrants later this week.

Team GB’s chef de mission for Tokyo, Mark England, said: “It is a great honour to be able to confirm such a strong team of athletes to represent Great Britain in badminton at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“After badminton’s historic Rio 2016 campaign, we welcome returning medallist Marcus back onto the team alongside an exciting mix of athletes with Olympic experience and those making debuts, a group that will undoubtedly put on a gripping show out in Tokyo.”

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic saw the 2020 qames postponed and question marks have continued to be raised ever since over whether the belated event will go ahead from late next month until Sunday, August 8.

The badminton event starts the day following the opening ceremony, with finals scheduled from July 30 to August 2.

British badminton team leader Jon Austin added: “It has been a long journey to get to the point where we can announce both our Olympic and Paralympic teams. The players, coaches and support staff have worked tirelessly in the most extreme circumstances to reach a position where we can announce those selected.

“There has been so much uncertainty about whether both games would go ahead, so to be in a position where we are shortly to get on the plane is something that I know all involved will be relieved about but also relishing the opportunity to perform at the pinnacle of our sport for Team GB.”