Duns champ Smith selected for Commonwealth badminton squad

Berwickshire badminton champion Callum Smith is on his way to Birmingham with Scotland’s 2022 Commonwealth Games squad.

By Ralph Mellon
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 2:44 pm
Callum Smith, left, with the men’s singles trophy from this year's Yonex Scottish National Badminton Championships and the player he beat in the final, Joshua Apiliga
Callum Smith, left, with the men’s singles trophy from this year's Yonex Scottish National Badminton Championships and the player he beat in the final, Joshua Apiliga

The national male singles champion was one of 50 athletes, across seven sports, whose selection was confirmed last week for the Midlands summer showpiece.

Smith, from Duns, was named among nine badminton players by Team Scotland, along with other participants from the worlds of boxing, judo, netball, para-powerlifting, squash and triathlon.

The 20-year-old will be making his Commonwealth debut, as will twin brothers Christopher and Matthew Grimley, plus Ciara Torrance, alongside the experience of Kirsty Gilmour, Alex Dunn, Adam Hall, Julie MacPherson and Eleanor O’Donnell.

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Team Scotland chef de mission Elinor Middlemiss said: “I am delighted to welcome another 50 athletes to Team Scotland, taking our total selected so far to 119.

“It is a real honour to represent Scotland and I am really pleased for the athletes who have been selected. There is a real depth of experience and potential in this squad and I have no doubt our more experienced members of the team will actively support those who are making their Games debut.

“The excitement for Birmingham 2022 is now really starting to build and I am really looking forward to watching our athletes in action this summer and hearing the roar of support from our fans in the stands.”

Back in February, Smith retained his singles title by defeating the same opponent as last year, Joshua Apiliga, in the Yonex Scottish National Badminton Championships final in Perth.

Smith recovered from a set down to beat his opponent 14-21, 21-11, 21-14.

It was the first time either player had lost a set on their way to the final as the top two seeds dominated the event but, in the end, the Berwickshire player proved to be just too strong.

Smith, who took up the game aged seven after being encouraged by his coach stepdad, has won a number of junior and senior titles as well as representing Scotland.

In 2019, he was named junior sports personality of the year at the Berwickshire regional ClubSport Awards.