Toni targets success at junior world championships in Spain

Falkirk's Toni Woods in action at the Scottish under-19 championships with Matt Grimley
Falkirk's Toni Woods in action at the Scottish under-19 championships with Matt Grimley

Falkirk teenager Toni Woods is set to take on the world as part of the Scotland squad contesting next month’s world junior championships.

The 17-year-old is part of a six-player Scots squad heading for Bilbao for BWF World Junior Championships which take place from November 2-6.

Scotland have been drawn to meet Australia and England in the group stages of the competition.

A total of 54 nations will be competing across 16 groups in Bilbao with China the top seeds and Thailand second favourites in the battle to win the Suhandinata Cup.

As well as Toni, the Scotland squad also includes Glasgow twins Matthew and Christopher Grimley, Motherwell’s Alex Dunn, Beith’s Eleanor O’Donnell and Prestwick’s Ciara Torrance.

Woods, who turns 18 on Christmas Day, and Torrance will contest the singles and Woods will also play in the mixed doubles with Matthew Grimley.

All six will also contest the following week’s individual events in the Eye-Level Cup competition at the same venue from November 8-13.

All the squad members won titles at last weekend’s Scottish National Junior Championships at under-19 level and will be looking to take that form into this weekend’s Danish Cup in Copenhagen before the focus turns to the World event.

Toni also goes into the competition fresh from success at the recent national championships at the Ravenscraig complex in Motherwell where she and Matthew Grimley won the under-19 mixed doubles title.

Unseeded, they beat defending champions Dunn and O’Donnell 21-18 21-16 in the semi-finals before defeating another combination from their national squad colleagues - Christopher Grimley and Torrance - in the final, winning 21-18 15-21 21-19.

Toni also reached the final of the girls’ doubles and semi-finals of the singles.

The Bilbao squad will be coached by former Scotland star Robert Blair.

Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said: “All six players have already made their mark at junior level and we wish them every success at the two big events coming up.

“We have already marked them down as having a bright future in the sport and playing in a World Junior Championships will be a great experience for them on their journey towards senior badminton.”