Photo: Private
The youngster surrounded by stars
Date: 10/12/2021 5:59 PM
Published by : Rasmus Bech(BEC)

Young Rachel Sugden is enjoying every single moment of the Thomas & Uber Cup 2020.

Everybody in the world of badminton knows Scottish Team GB star Kirsty Gilmour. For more than 10 years, she has been representing Scotland. At the Uber Cup event in Aarhus, Denmark, she is once again leading a young line-up, which entered the tournament as one of the teams claiming the ‘underdog tag’.

Wow factor
19-year-old Rachel Sugden is one of the young players being picked for the Scottish squad. Sugden is ranked 257 in the world, and there is no doubt that the trip to Denmark is unique.

- Everything is really cool. It is great to look around the hall and see so many familiar faces like those I watch on YouTube and from the big events all the time. It is really inspiring.

Being starstruck?

- A bit, yeah.

- I can go home and tell my friends “I played Busanan today. She is top 20 in the world”. My parents love badminton, and I have been on the phone with them saying “guess who I just saw in the training hall”. It is really cool, Rachel Sugden said.

Feeling the pressure
Kirsty Gilmour is the first player to walk on court when Scotland is playing, followed by Sugden. Millions are watching from all over the world, when the Scottish teenager walks on court, and Sugden is well aware that it is different from the tournaments she normally attends on the Badminton Europe Circuit.

- It is very cool to have the presentation for the players walking on court and when you see that there is stats about your match and it is different playing in an arena like this, Sugden mentioned.

- There is a bit of pressure being the second person behind her, but it is also nice. I have not had much of a chance to play on a world stage like this, so I am grateful for that opportunity.

Looking at and learning from Gilmour
The Scottish team is – like any other team – ambitious going into the events, but for the young team, it is also about getting important experience for future events. Rachel Sugden can watch hours of badminton during the event, but she also knows that she has a sparring partner who knows how to perform on the top level.

- I am always looking at Kirsty playing, and that is where I want to get to. I am very grateful when I get the chance to train with her, which I do not do very often, but that is what I am aiming for.

- I can learn from her work ethic and from how hard she trains and pushes herself. That has got her to where she is, and that is definitely something I can take from her.

Are you “The Next One”?

- I hope so! I am gonna try my best.

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