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November 7, 2022

The SCC Champion of Champions brought some of the best county players in England together for an exciting weekend of action in Milton Keynes.

The National Badminton Centre played host to competitions across both men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles across the weekend in a round robin style format, with semi-finals and finals after the group stages.

Saturday’s action saw Yulia Tang beat Amelia Ngooi 21-17 21-16 to win the women’s singles event, while Ben Muir defeated Jamie Bonsels 21-17 23-21 to claim the men’s singles titles.

And there was mixed doubles success for Laura Mercer and Samuel Ricketts, who beat former Olympic bronze medallist Jo Goode and her son Harry Goode 22-20 21-12 in their final.

That was followed on Sunday by men’s and women’s doubles action, with Tang once again victorious.

She and former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jenny Wallwork defeated Jessica Hopton and Devon Minnis 21-19 21-19 to claim the women’s doubles crown, while Nathan Rossiter and Steven Strickland saw off Robin Harper and Ewen Stephen 22-20 22-20 to seal the men’s doubles title.

The Champion of Champions has provided the opportunity for competitors to play people they would normally not encounter at county level, something that Badminton England Competitions and Events Manager Jon Hancock is particularly pleased about.

Hancock said: “We have had such good feedback from all of the players who have entered. The concept is really good, the players love the opportunity to play against players from counties they wouldn’t necessarily play against.

“There is a tendency for players to play against the same opponents across seasons. The Champion of Champions competition has provided the opportunity to shake that up a bit.

“County restricted winners represent their counties at various levels through the SCC and so for some, they wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to play here at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes, and also against ex-England internationals and Olympic athletes such as Jo Goode MBE and Jenny Wallwork.”

This was the second Champion of Champions event to take place in Milton Keynes, with the competition only starting in December last year.

Though the competition was undoubtedly a success, Hancock believes it can grow even further in the years to come.

He added: “Naturally I want to grow the competition, we would like to see an increase in the entry level. We will be looking for county and player input about how we can improve this event, and the senior county championships competition as well.

“These competitions are for the players and it’s really important that we listen to them about some of the barriers that have prevented them from playing and entering.

“The Champion of Champions Tournament is a celebration of County Badminton, and I would love to see it grow and be an important date in the badminton competition calendar.”

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