Harper Wakefield

English interest at the World Junior Championships has ended at the last 16 stage in Spokane, with several eye-catching performances along the way.

Following a 14th-place finish at the team event, the individual action began on Monday and the doubles competitions brought the strongest performances.

Robin Harper and Harry Wakefield will take home fond memories from the USA after beating top seeds Dev Ayyappan and Dhiren Ayyappan, of the UAE, in the second round.

Harper and Wakefield fought back after losing the first game 18-21, taking the next two 21-17, 21-16 to earn a statement win.

They took that confidence into the next round against Thailand’s Songpon Sae-Ma and Phurinath Saikamma, prevailing 21-17, 21-17, before Japan’s Kosuke Kakuta and Kaito Sugawara proved too strong in the fourth round

In the mixed doubles, Oliver Butler and Chloe Dennis had to hold their nerve through a series of close encounters.

They came through a decider against Hong Kong’s Yung King To and Hung Ho Yan (17-21 21-14 21-18) in their opener before an impressive straight games victory over German eighth seeds David Eckerlin and Amelie Lehmann (23-21, 24-22).

A more comfortable success followed in the last 32, Canada’s Raymond Fengzhou Li and Jackie Dent beaten 21-14, 21-11, but their run was ended by Danish pair Otto Reiler and Amanda Aarrebo Petersen, who won a hard-fought battle 21-18, 21-19.

Butler and Michael Pang made the last 32 of the men’s doubles, while Leona Lee was knocked out at the same stage of the women’s singles after wins over Marta Sousa and Sofia Lavrova. Tashvi Parab fell in the second round to American Andrea Yilu Li.

Pang came through his opening round clash with Italy’s Marco Danti in the men’s singles, triumphing in three games before being beaten by Alexander Ringbæk. Ben Hammond also made it as far as the second round, beating Joao Mendonca before going down to Muhammad Reza Al Fajri.

Elsewhere in the doubles competitions, Wakefield and Parab were beaten in the first round of the mixed, while Parab and Lucy Brierley overcame Trinidad and Tobago’s Janiah Boodoosingh and Amara Joachim 21-5 21-5 in the first round of the women’s doubles but were then beaten in straight games by Lucie Krulová and Petra Maixnerová.

Brierley was also in action in the mixed doubles alongside Harper, the pair convincingly overcoming Emanuela Mataio and Vaitea Crocombe-Ama (21-1 21-6) in the first round before going down 17-21, 8-21 against Indonesian 12th seeds Jonathan Farrell Gosal and Priskila Venus Elsadai.

With special thanks to Yonex, the official clothing supplier of the England National Team.  

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