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Kirsty and Imogen doublesImogen Bankier and Kirsty Gilmour bring their badminton year to a close this week by tackling the Italian International in Rome.

Gilmour, the runner-up at both the London Grand Prix and the Scottish Open Grand Prix, takes a break from women's singles to concentrate on the third event of her new women's doubles partnership with Bankier.

The pair, earmarked for Commonwealth Games success, reached the semi-finals of both the Yonex Welsh International and the Carlton Irish Open in the last two weeks and now they are hoping to make it third time lucky by reaching a final.

They got off to a pleasing start by learning that they had been promoted from qualifying, straight into the main draw. But they face a tricky opener tomorrow against Tang He Tian and Renuga Veeran. The Aussies defeated Gilmour and Bankier in straight games in the Cardiff semi-finals but the Scots avenged that in Dublin last week when they won in straight games in the qualifying competition.

If Bankier and Gilmour win their opener they could well face Bulgarian sixth seeds Petya Nedelcheva and Dimitria Popstoikova. Nedelcheva has been Bankier's doubles partner earlier this season and will partner her in the European Championships in the Russian city of Kazan in April before Bankier turns her focus on Glasgow 2014 with Gilmour.

Results and draws from the Italian International are at www.tournamentsoftware.com

Photograph courtesy of Lindie Naughton

 

 

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