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With the 2021 National Championships looming ever closer on the horizon, a key event in the build-up took place over the weekend as the Senior Gold was staged at the National Badminton Centre.

Medals were up for grabs in all disciplines and the tournaments went according to seedings, with all five golds won by the top seeds.

In the men’s singles, this meant victory for 18-year-old Cholan Kayan, who didn’t drop a set en route to the final.

Once there, he lost the opening set 8-21 against Sid Palakkal, who had earlier come through a marathon three-set clash with Harry Lines in Round 3 which took an hour and five minutes to complete.

Kayan recovered, however, to take the next two 21-12, 21-14 and secure his triumph.

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Elsewhere, unseeded Adarsh Palani Kumar impressed as he knocked out second seed Ben Hunt on his way to the semi-finals, where he was beaten by Palakkal.

The women’s singles title was won by Georgina Bland, who didn’t drop a set throughout the competition and beat Estelle Van Leeuwen 21-18, 21-16 in the final.

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It was one of three silvers won by Van Leeuwen, a remarkable effort by the 17-year-old, who also reached the final in both the women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Playing alongside Holly Williams in the women’s doubles, the pair – seeded third – took the first set 21-19 only for top seeds Abbygael Harris and Hope Warner to hit back and take the next two 21-10, 21-16.

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The mixed doubles final pitted the top two seeds against each other as Van Leeuwen and Alex Green went up against Harris and William Jones.

And it was the latter pair who came out on top 21-18, 21-17 as Harris celebrated a second gold medal of the day.

Jones came close to following suit but he and David Hong were beaten 21-17, 21-13 by Ollie Baczala and Jonty Russ in the men’s doubles final.

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All of the gold and silver medallists are entered into the Nationals, so expect to see plenty more exciting matches – we wish them best of luck both for the Nationals and rest of the season.

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