GLASGOW badminton star Susan Egelstaff, Scotland’s most successful singles player of the last 20 years, has called time on her career.
The 30-year-old from Clarkston bows out with a Commonwealth team bronze and an individual women’s singles bronze to her name as well as holding the distinction of being the first Scot to win a match in an Olympic Games after representing Team GB at London 2012.
Her retirement means Egelstaff, who won six Scottish National singles titles, won't feature in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in her home city.
She said: “I think that now is the right time for me to retire because I don’t feel I have the motivation that’s needed to give everything in training every day any more.
"I’ve had a fantastic career, I’ve been so lucky to have had the chance to be a full-time athlete for so long and to have had so much support and help from so many people. I’ve had some amazing experiences and met so many brilliant people along the way."
In a 12-year career on the international circuit Egelstaff won a number of tournaments as well as reaching a career-best number 19 in the world.
But she insists one of the highlights was winning the Scottish International Championships at the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena in 2009 after several years of coming close.
Egelstaff was a member of the Scotland team which won the bronze medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and won the women’s singles bronze medal at the 2006 Games in Melbourne.
In 2010 in Delhi she came within one win of another bronze, losing the third-place play-off to great England rival Elizabeth Cann. But she responded by edging out Cann in the year-long qualifying battle to represent Team GB at the Olympics despite three months out with a knee injury.
She added: "Qualifying for the Olympics had been a goal of mine for almost 20 years so to have achieved it this summer, and to have played so well in London, makes me feel like this is the perfect way to go out.
"While I am, of course, very sad that my career is at an end, I am excited about doing new things and beginning a new chapter in my life. I’m definitely going to stay involved in badminton and the next couple of years will be a really exciting time for the sport with the Commonwealth Games coming up.”
Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, led the tributes when she said: “We are sorry to lose Susan from competition but I am sure we won’t be losing her from the sport she has served so well.
"She has carried the responsibility of being Scotland’s top women’s singles player in tournaments and team events for a long time and has been an inspiration to the crop of young players looking to follow in her footsteps."