Cardiff Gold 2020
Full gallery, click here. Results, click here.
Donal O'Halloran reports:
What a weekend of Junior badminton was on display over the weekend at the Sport Wales National Centre. The Cardiff Junior Gold took place with the U15/19 on the Saturday and the U13/17 playing on the Sunday.
While every player present deserves great credit, there is no doubt but the highlight of the weekend was the final of the U19 Singles between friends, Archie Bult and Jonathan Ewins.
Both had produced strong performances to get to the final but what a match they delivered thereafter. A three-set battle that had the crowd on the edge of their seats. Jonathan took the first set with 22-20 score-line but Archie fought back taking the second 21-10. The third was an epic battle with the score nipping back and forth before Archie won the final point to take the title 30-29.
This was a match that showed all the skill and determination needed to compete and both players should be immensely proud of their effort, behaviour and attitude.
But Saturday produced some other great matches and results with 12 year old Saffron Morris continuing her fine form to win the U19 Ladies Singles title. The two singles winners then teamed up to take the XD title. The u19 boys doubles title, which again produced strong performance all round saw Thomas Morgan and Om Reddy deservingly snatching the title on points difference from Adil Khan/Aarya Ramachandra and Bult/Ewins.
The U15 events again showed some of the future potential of the Welsh players with Harper Leigh winning the Boys Singles beating Faaris Ahmad in the final. Faaris was another of the players feeling “greedy” and teamed up with LLwyd Crump to take the Boys doubles title while Llwyd teamed up with Bhavana Balu to take the XD. The u15 Girls single saw Prarthana Reddy take the title from future Welsh starlet Ishariya Mekala. The singles players then teamed up to take the doubles title.
Sunday saw more great play in the u13 and u17 events.
The u13 girls singles saw Bhavana Balu from Isha Mekala while the boys singles saw Zach Morris and Hector Bult produce fine play with Zachary taking the title. Another greedy pair, the two boys again teamed up to take the boys doubles title but coming in for silver was a close contest with Alfie Bryan and Kuba Kwiatkowski winning silver.
The U17 Boys singles was another of the epic matches with Dan Kite winning the title form Liam Hird with a 23-25 21-19 21-19 victory. Liam gained a title when teaming up with Matthew Swash to take the Boys doubles title with another 15-9 13-15 15-13 victory over Matthew Logan and Nabil Taufiqurrahman.
Girls singles saw another Kite take centre stage when Maisie won gold from Lydia Morris. Not happy with the silver, Lydia then teamed up with Fearne Williams to win the doubles title from Maisie Kite and Neve Thomas. The XD title went to Nabil Taufiqurrahman and Maisie Kite beating Reuben Probert and Sot-Sai Thomas in the final.
Congratulations to all players who performed so well on court and what a fantastic display of competitive badminton.
While it is important to actively support players, it is also important that this support does not cross a line into a perceived intimidation and bullying of players while on court. Such behaviour has no place in the junior competitions especially when this is directed against fellow Welsh team-mates. Badminton Wales would ask all individuals to respect the principles of the game at all occasions. We want to encourage every player to compete and enjoy the game and any effort to intimidate from off court only works to damage all that is good about our game. With the return of the Senior team, and they about to compete in the Europeans Men’s and Women’s championships; a new Badminton Wales motto #TIMETORISE has been developed. This is being filtered throughout the entire Performance environment. Respect is a key component of this, and we would ask all to adhere to these principles.
Badminton is a game for all to be enjoyed by all.