BADMINTON: THE POPULAR sport of badminton may have lost its funding from UK Sport, but there is no shortage of young players wanting to become its future stars and around 60 youngsters converged on Warwick on Saturday to contest the Warwickshire Junior Restricted singles tournament.
Notable winners on the day include Solihull’s Eamonn O’Leary who went unbeaten throughout the day to lift the Under-11 boys final after beating Alveston’s George Baxter 21-17.
In the Under-13 girls event, Alveston’s Abhirami Sabandesan went one better, winning gold after remaining unbeaten including a crucial 21-7 win over Myton School’s Jessica Lucas who took silver, with Kingsley School’s Sylvia Sinclair winning bronze.
Across the hall in the boys Under-13s event, Leo Rincon-Tivey beat Coventry Racqueteers’ Joseph Kempson to win the title, while Alveston’s Stewart Woodhouse and club newcomer Ollie Crabtree both had to settle for bronze.
Faith Christopherson ended a splendid week for her family which saw her father awarded an MBE days earlier by winning the Under-15 competition.
The silver medal went to South Warwickshire’s Grace Ring who crucially narrowly lost 21-17 to Faith in their group match. Ruby Sinclair and Amber Venn also both took bronze medals for Alveston.
Hartshill’s Jake Harris won the boys’ Under-15 gold medal with a close 21-17 win over Rugby’s Dylan Mistry in the final.
As the day drew to a close, Emily Naylor from Rugby won the girls Under-17 age group title after beating Alveston’s Beth Harris in the final.
In the final game of a long day, Tom Smith, who had battled through the group stages unbeaten, worked his way through from the quarter-finals and came up against Rugby’s Matthew Sirman.
Despite trailing 19-17, Smith came through to clinch gold with a 21-20 win.