Pilven's bid for 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games

TARA Pilven will use a whirlwind tour of the European badminton circuit to book a place at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. 

The 19-year-old, who is based in Point Cook but originally from Ballarat, flies out tomorrow to contest four international badminton tournaments, including the Scottish International in Glasgow.

Pilven’s tour begins at the Norway International Challenge on November 15-18 before heading to Glasgow on November 21-25, and the Welsh International on November 29-December 2. The tour finishes with the Irish International on December 5-9.

Australia’s number two female player, Pilven is ranked 208 in the world. She said she needed to improve that ranking to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and plans to use the four tournaments to do so. 

“You have to have a world ranking of about 180 to qualify for the Commonwealth Games,” Pilven said. 

“They are all knockout tournaments with seeding and I’m not seeded. If I can get through the first two rounds that would be good.

“Because it is part of the European circuit, it will be all of the best European players plus a lot of the other top players from around the world.

“People don’t understand how big badminton is in Europe. It is massive. Asia is the top but Europe is probably second. A few of the European players really challenge the Asian countries.”

Pilven said, while she had competed in bigger tournaments in Asia, playing in Europe would help her education in her sport as European players had a different set of skills and a different style to what she was used to. 

She said, while Asian players tended to rely on power and lightning speed, those in Europe tended to build their games on longer rallying. 

Pilven will train in each host country, along with six New Zealand players she has developed a friendship with.

gavin.mcgrath@thecourier.com.au

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