The U15 English National Badminton Championships were staged this weekend at the Redbridge Sports Centre, in association with partners Yonex.
The national titles were evenly spread at the weekend despite several players appearing in multiple finals. Callum Hemming made it through to all three finals and took home the gold medal in Men’s Doubles, but a series of sterling performances from Steven Stallwood and Molly Chapman denied Hemming and the other favourites in the mixed doubles. Fee Teng Liew, top seed in all three events, was the only player to leave with two national titles to her name.
2014 U15 Boy’s Singles champion: Johnnie Torjussen
Johnnie Tojussen (pictured) and Hemming opened up the finals of the U15 English National Championships. Johnnie Torjussen, seeded at number one, cruised into the Boy’s Singles final without dropping a set. In the quarter finals he played Alex Cook who was the close to taking a set off him in the first end narrowly losing 20-22 but Torjussen played well in the in the second end winning the match 22-20, 21-11. In the semi-final he faced 3/4 seed Zach Russ putting in a strong performance winning 21-17, 21-14 to see him into the final.
Hemming faced familiar opponents in his journey to the final, beating fellow Team Forza team mates Harry Huang in the quarter finals and Steven Stallwood in the semi-finals.
The mood was tense as the boy’s singles final got underway, the first game tight all the way to the end but Hemming saw a few openings and led most of the way to win 21-18. Torjussen started strong in the second game taking an early 8-1 lead. Hemming closed the gap to 10-11, but Torjussen held his composure to win 21-17. In the third end, players switched ends with Torjussen up 11-7, and he continued to stretch his lead to win 21-14 and be crowned the new U15 Boy’s Singles English National Champion.
2014 U15 Girl’s Singles Champion: Fee Teng Liew
The Girl’s Singles final was another match up between the first and second seeds, Fee Teng Liew and Samodani Wijetunge respectively. Fee Teng Liew beat Molly Chapman in the semi-final, who had knocked out 3/4 seed Elizabeth Tolman in the quarter finals in a very close game 21-15, 21-19. Chapman, on form over the weekend, would later progress to the mixed doubles final.
Samodani Wijetunge headed to the final without dropping a game after beating Sian Kelly in the quarter finals and her doubles partner Abigail Holden in the semi-finals. Wijetunge started the final slowly with a few unforced errors but after gaining her composure Fee Teng Liew had pressed her advantage and won the first game 21-16. The second game there was rarely a point difference between the two players as they exchanged rallies. Fee Teng Liew was two match points down and it looked certain to go to three games, but she held her nerve and managed to win four points in a row to win 22-20 and the Girl’s Singles national title. The two players would face each other again in the women’s doubles final.
2014 U15 Boy’s Doubles Champions: Callum Hemming & Harry Huang
After narrowly missing out in the boy’s singles final, Callum Hemming would be hoping for a gold medal in the doubles with partner Harry Huang. Hemming and Huang, the first seeds had a tough route to the final after seeing off challenges from James Buckley and Torjussen in the quarter finals and Jack Wild and James Youle in the semi-finals. Both matches went to three ends and Hemming and Huang only just made it through the semi-final 21-23, 21-11, 22-20.
Hemming and Huang would play 3/4 seeds Alex Cook and Zach Russ in the final. Cook and Russ knocked out second seeds Avinash Gupta and Steven Stallwood in the semi-finals 21-16, 21-18. In the final, Cook and Russ found themselves 8-4 behind in the first game but managed to regain their composure to bring the score line to 11-10 at the interval. Hemming and Huang strung together a series of seven points after the interval to win the first game 21-12. In the second game Cook and Russ took an early lead at 7-4 and capitalised on their lead winning 21-13. The third end was much closer as the pairs exchanged points, however at 16-16 Hemming and Huang once again managed to string a series of points together to win 21-17 and take the national title. Huang, still in the U13 age group clearly a player to watch for the future.
2014 U15 Girl’s Doubles Champions: Fee Teng Liew & Elizabeth Tolman
The girl’s doubles finals saw the first and second seeds, Fee Teng Liew & Elizabeth Tolman and Abigail Holden & Samodani Wijetunge respectively, reaching the final. It would also be the second time Liew and Wijetunge would face each other after Liew beat Wijetunge in the girl’s singles final.
Liew and Tolman steam rolled their way to the final beating 3/4 seeds Grace Chapman and Grace King in the semi-final 21-14, 21-11. Holden and Wijetunge made their way to the finals after beating the other 3/4 seeds Dominique Bell and Freya Patel-Redfearn in the semi-final 21-16, 21-10. The final would be another close call but Wijetunge once again missed out on a gold medal, and Liew doubled her gold medal haul after she and Tolman beat Holden and Wijetunge 21-18, 21-15.
2014 U15 Mixed Doubles Champions: Steven Stallwood & Molly Chapman
The mixed doubles final was Hemming’s third final, with mixed partner Tolman who was playing in her second final. Both players had already secured one gold medal a piece, and no doubt hoped to get another. Hemming and Tolman were pushed to three ends in the quarter final by Jack Buckley and Grace King, but looked confident in the semi-final winning in two ends against Alex Cook and Samodani 21-14, 21-17.
Steven Stallwood and Molly Chapman who were 5/8 seeds also reached the final. They beat 3/4 seeds Torjussen and Abigail Holden in the quarter finals by the skin of their teeth in three ends 21-14, 12-21, 26-24. They put in another solid performance holding their nerve against the first seeds Fee Teng Liew and Huang in the semi-final to win 22-24, 21-19, 21-19.
Stallwood and Chapman were in form but they would need to dig deep again as they faced Hemming and Tolman in the final who had already showed their steel by winning gold in earlier finals. Stallwood and Chapman were not phased and won the game in two ends 22-20, 21-17 to be crowned the mixed doubles national champions.
View the full results here.
View photos from the weekend: www.actionphotography.photoshelter.com.
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