England’s rising stars Max Flynn and Callum Hemming defied the seedings with a series of magical performances in Mulhouse, France to win Boys Doubles silver at the U19 European Junior Championships.
And there was a bronze medal too for the impressive David Jones in the boys singles event.
For the unseeded pairing of Flynn and Hemming, the solid silver medal was just reward for a boys doubles charge full of attacking intent which saw them defeat the event’s second, third and fifth seeds en route to the final.
And it took the impressive top seeds – Thom Gicquel and Toma Junior Popov from France – to end their bid to become just the fifth boys doubles pair from England to win the boys title in the 48 year history of the prestigious event.
Looking to replicate the title winning antics of Chris Adcock and Peter Mills (2007) and Chris Coles and Matt Nottingham (2011), Flynn and Hemming went into Easter Sunday’s final having not dropped a game. Confidence was high following a dynamic display to defeat the well fancied Polish pair of Robert Cybulski and Pawel Smilowski 21-14, 21-15 at the semi final stage.
However, after a 36 minute final, Flynn and Hemming matched the silver won by Ben Lane and Sean Vendy two years ago as they missed out 21-17, 21-13 to their French rivals in front of a vocal home crowd,
For Toma Junior Popov, the Boy’s Doubles title was his second of the day having also won the Boy’s Singles crown to justify his top billing. Popov had previously beaten David Jones 21-12, 21-18 at the semi final stage.
For David Jones, European Junior Championships bronze is excellent return from an individual event in which he was seeded 14th.
Jones will also take positive notes from having held a 18-17 lead against the top seed in the second game of their semi final before Popov's top class form secured a spot in the final.
Earlier in the week Popov put pay to another English campaign with he and Gicquel beating Zach Russ and Steven Stallwood 19-21 11-21 in the men’s doubles quarter-finals.
Following a hugely successful team and individual event campaign, development coach Dave Lindley was heartened by the performances of his young side.
Englands European Medal success would not be possible without all the hard work of the coaches and support staff out there. Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/kmdsX0boJa— Dave Lindley (@DaveLindley1) April 16, 2017
"The last few months has been tough for English badminton, we have a lot of work to do restructuring and to ensure that we invest wisely in developing our young players of the future,” he said.
“This team has many young players, only two are full age, and whilst they still have lots to learn, their performances here show we have potential for the future along our pathway."
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New 2017 U19 European Junior silver medallist Callum Hemming says his solid silver medal, won with Boys Doubles partner Max Flynn, is living proof that ‘hard work pays off’.