Zach Russ (pictured) stole the show at the U15 English National Badminton Championships, following in the footsteps of his older brother a week ago at the U17 Nationals.
Russ secured both the Boys' Singles and Doubles crowns at the National Badminton Centre at the weekend, giving the Russ family two double national title holders after his brother Jonty topped the U17 medal table last week.
2015 U15 Men’s Singles champion: Zach Russ
The top seeds reached the final, both without dropping any games. Zach Russ reached the semi-finals last year, whilst Harry Huang a year younger was the U13 English National Champion and reached the U15 quarter finals.
Zach Russ played 3/4 seed Rory Easton in his quarter final winning 21-11, 21-16. In the bottom half of the knock-out, Harry Huang played 5/8 seed Luke Donegan in the quarter final winning 21-14, 21-14. In the final, Russ looked strong in the first end beating Huang 21-13, and it looked likely to be over as Huang injured his thumb on his left hand. However both players were neck and neck as they exchanged points all the way to 20-all. Russ held his nerve though to edge ahead and eventually win 25-23 to claim his first U15 English National title.
2015 U15 Women’s Singles Champion: Freya Patel-Redfearn
There was excitement and disappointment in the Girl’s Singles after the number one seed Grace King just made it through a tough group match against Helen Kelly 18-21, 21-18, 22-20. However two matches later, King had to pull out with a hamstring injury which opened up the top half of the draw where 3/4 seed Hannah Boden capitalised by beating Pamela Reyes in the semi-finals to face Freya Patel-Redfearn in the final.
After a close semi-final between Patel-Redfearn and Molly Chapman, second seed Patel-Redfearn reached the final after winning in three close ends 21-14, 18-21, 21-15. In the final against Boden, Patel-RedFearn took the first end 21-9 and held on in a close second end 21-19 to be crowned the U15 Girl’s Singles Champion.
2015 U15 Men’s Doubles Champions: Luke Donegan and Zach Russ
Zach Russ and Harry Huang faced each other again in the final of the Boy’s Doubles. Harry Huang won the U15 Boy’s Doubles in 2014 with Callum Hemming, however with Hemming no longer in the age group Huang was partnering Ethan Van Leeuwen this year, after winning the gold in the 2014 U13 English Nationals. In 2014, Russ lost in the final when playing with Alex Cook, but this year he also had a new partner in Luke Donegan.
Luke Donegan and Zach Russ, 3/4 seeds reached the final after beating the first seeds Rory Easton and Jack McGregor in the semi-finals. Harry Huang and and Ethan Van Leeuwen beat the non-seeded David Hong and William Jones in the semi-finals. In the final this year, it was Zach Russ who came out on top again to claim his second title after he and Donegan beat Huang and Van Leeuwen 21-15, 21-16. Zach Russ’s two gold medals equals his brother’s, Jonty Russ, who won two titles last weekend at the U17 Nationals.
2015 U15 Women’s Doubles Champions: Hope Warner and Ellie Wheatley
The top half of the Girl’s Doubles was left wide open after Molly Chapman and Grace King withdrew after King's hamstring injury and with Chloe Hunt and Annie Lado beating the 3/4 seeds Hannah Boden and Helen Kelly in the group stages. Ruchika Madhotra and Keya Patani capitalised after beating Hunt and Lado in the quarter finals and then Asmita Chaudhari and Pamela Reyes in the semi-finals.
In the bottom half of the draw, 3/4 seeds Hope Warner and Ellie Wheatley reached the final after beating number two seeds Dominique Bell and Freya Patel-Redfearn. Hope Warner won the U13 Girls Doubles last year, and this year she succeeded in stepping up and winning the U15 Girls Doubles as she and Wheatley beat Madhotra and Patani in three ends 17-21, 21-12, 21-11.
2015 U15 Mixed Doubles Champions: Harry Huang and Molly Chapman
The Mixed Doubles provided the last chance for Harry Huang to win an U15 National title this year with his mixed partner Molly Chapman. Huang and Chapman reached the finals after beating 3/4 seeds Jack McGregor and Freya Patel-Redfearn 21-12, 21-11.
In the final, Huang and Chapman faced 3/4 seeds Rory Easton and Helen Kelly who had received a bye through their semi-final following the withdrawal of King. Huang and Chapman won the first end 21-16, but Easton and Kelly took the second end 21-18 with a run of four consecutive points. Huang and Chapman regained their composure in the third end wining 21-10 and earning Huang and Chapman the Mixed Doubles title.
View the full results here.
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