Leona Lee Spanish International 1200

November 16, 2023

Leona Lee stormed to the women’s singles title at the Spanish International as Nadeem Dalvi reached the men’s singles showpiece. 

Lee knocked out the top seed en route to the final in Blanca Dona where she recovered from a game down to take gold.

Up against Denmark’s Sofie Karmann, who sits 218 places above Lee in the BWF World Rankings, the Stevenage-born shuttler triumphed 17-21 21-16 21-17.

Having lost the opening game, the world No.550 built a healthy lead in the second, taking the game with four consecutive points.

In the decider, Lee was never more than three points behind before a hot streak put her in a commanding position and she closed out the win at the first time of asking.

Lee reached the final by knocking out the Belgian top seed Clara Lassaux with a 21-18 16-21 22-20 win, having recorded straight games wins in the first three rounds.

Dalvi beat out two top seeds to reach the men’s singles final where he came up against Denmark’s Jakob Houe.

In the showpiece, Dalvi lost out 21-17 21-16 to the seventh seed to end an impressive campaign with a silver medal.

Dalvi knocked out home favourite Alvaro Leal of Spain 21-17 21-15 in the semi-finals, beating another seed, Amaury Lievre of France in a decider in the quarter-finals.

Robin Harper and Harry Wakefield advanced from the qualifiers all the way to the men’s doubles semi-finals in Blanca Dona.

The pair did not drop a game in the opening two rounds before requiring a decider against Natan Begga and Baptiste Labarthe of France to reach the quarter-finals.

The duo won 21-17 16-21 21-14 before meeting Denmark’s Mads Gadegaard and Oliver Geisler in the last four.

Harper and Wakefield took the lead and were well in the second game before a late rally from Gadegaard and Geisler hit back to advance to the final 17-21 22-20 21-13.

Oliver Butler and Ben Jarvis reached the second round stage of the men’s doubles where they served for the match against Francisco Olivares and Jaume Perez, eventually losing 21-17 15-21 23-21.

Fifth seed Lisa Curtin made it through to the women’s singles quarter-finals facing second seed Frederikke Ostergaard in a thrilling contest.

Curtin won the first game and served for the match in the second before Ostergaard forced a decider and again overturned a deficit, winning five points in a row to take the win 17-21 22-20 21-19 and reach the semi-finals.

Qualifier Tashvi Parab was also in women’s singles action, reaching the second round with a 21-15 21-15 win over seventh seed Katrin Neudolt before losing to eventual finalist Sofie Karmann.

Oliver Butler and Chloe Dennis survived a decider against Wessel van der Aar and Kirsten de Wit of the Netherlands in the opening round of the mixed doubles.

The English duo took the first game only to be pegged back in the second but pulled away with six consecutive points in the decider to take the win 21-19 18-21 21-17 before losing in three games in the second round.

Dennis also competed in the women’s doubles alongside Lee with the duo beaten in the first round.

France’s Agathe Cuevas and Kathell Desmots-Chacun pulled away in both games, winning seven points in a row to take the match 21-13 21-14 as they advanced through to the quarter-final stage.

Image: Jnanesh Salian via Badmintonphoto

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