Mixed Team Junior Worlds 2023 1200

30 September, 2023

England finished in 14th place at the BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships 2023 in Spokane.

The team of Chloe Dennis, Tashvi Parab, Oliver Butler, Ben Hammond, Robin Harper, Leona Lee, Lucy Brierley, Michael Pang, and Harry Wakefield started promisingly in the USA with three group stage wins. 

A final group defeat to Malaysia saw them end in second place and enter the battle for ninth to 16th, eventually losing to Denmark in the 13th-place playoff. 

England began the week with a 3-2 win over Austria, mixed doubles pair Chloe Dennis and Oliver Butler claiming a straight games win, as did Leona Lee in the women’s singles, those victories coming either side of a three-games loss for Michael Pang in the men’s singles. 

Butler then combined with Harry Wakefield to sew up the overall win as the men’s doubles pair defeated Ilija Nicolussi and Jakob Rinner before Austria took a consolation win in the women’s doubles. 

Against Poland, England experienced an identical success, winning the mixed doubles, women’s singles and men’s doubles rubbers to claim a 3-2 victory. 

However, the matches were much tighter with all three victories coming through deciders, Lee outlasting Joanna Podedworny in the women’s singles with a 22-20 21-19 21-10 win.

A comfortable win against Latvia followed as Tashvi Parab impressed in her second Mixed Team Championships appearance, having helped England to a seventh-place finish last time out.

Parab won her women’s singles tie in straight games, defeating Darta Alise Demitere 21-9 21-14 in just 20 minutes. 

Lucy Brierley made a strong debut at the tournament, winning the mixed doubles rubber 21-7 21-8 alongside Oliver Butler, while Robin Harper also got his first taste of the action, partnering Harry Wakefield to a men’s doubles win. 

The final group-stage match served as a decider as Malaysia and England both entered undefeated, with Malaysia taking the win and the spot in the last eight with a 5-0 victory.

Lee battled courageously in the women’s singles, taking Siti Zulaikha to a decider before eventually losing 16-21 21-18 21-10.

In the first match of the 9-16 stage, England lost out 3-1 to Germany, with Lee providing the sole win as she defeated Selin Hubsch.

England then won a thrilling encounter with Singapore 3-2 to set up a shot at 13th place.

Butler and Dennis fought back from a game down to win the mixed doubles, before Ben Hammond experienced the opposite fate, losing in three games to Chua Min Han.

Lee again won in the women’s singles only for Singapore to hit back in the men’s doubles before Lee and Dennis closed out the win with a 21-16 21-11 21-10 victory in the women’s doubles to secure a tie with Denmark.

There, England went 2-0 down as they suffered defeats in the mixed doubles and men’s dobules before Lee, and Oliver Butler and Robin Harper drew England level.

In the deciding match, Dennis and Lee were always in it against Sofie Rojkjaer and Maria Hojlund Tommerup, but ultimately went down 21-16 21-18. 

The team will now battle for individual titles with the BWF World Junior Championships getting underway in Washington on Monday. 

With special thanks to Yonex, the official clothing supplier of the England National Team.  

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