Watson Briggs and Rita Yuan Gao were yesterday handed a boost ahead of the Yonex Scottish National Badminton Championships as they were seeded in their respective competitions.
Renfrew man Briggs and Paisley ace Yuan Gao will both be aiming to grab silverware when they take to the court at the Bell’s Sports Centre, in Perth, for next month’s prestigious event.
Briggs, 25, teams up with Imogen Bankier for the mixed doubles – a title the duo have won five times in recent years.
They are seeded second, behind the Glasgow pairing of Robert Blair and Jillie Cooper.
The men’s doubles is set to be one of the most hotly-contested events, with young stars Martin Campbell, of Edinburgh, and Angus Gilmour, of Glasgow, bidding for their first title.
However, the top seeds will face a strong challenge from defending champions Briggs and Paul Van Rietvelde at number two, with former champions Jamie Neill and Keith Turnbull at number three.
Yuan Gao, 36, has been seeded second in the ladies singles, where the top seed is Bothwell’s Kirsty Gilmour.
In the women’s doubles, Yuan Gao teams up with Caitlin Pringle, of Giffnock, and they are the second seeds.
The favourites for that title are Gilmour and Cooper, who are the top seeds.
Cooper won the title for a second time last year after teaming up with Bankier, with the duo beating Yuan Gao and Linda Sloan in the final.
Yuan Gao, who is now based in Switzerland, where she coaches, has won the ladies singles title four times, the doubles six times and the mixed doubles twice.
Play in this year’s Yonex Scottish National Championships begins on Friday, February 1.