Butterfly Schools’ Individual Championships

Author:
Russell Moore

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Repeat Performances

Records tumbled at the Butterfly Schools’ Individual Championships in this year’s National Finals held at The Dome, Doncaster on Saturday, 24th April 2010.

Leading the field was Natalie Slater (Staffordshire) who retained her Girls’ Under 16 title for the third consecutive year, but she was pushed hard in the final by Abbie Milwain (Derbyshire) eventually winning 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6, 11-4.  She was not alone with triple success as Tin-Tin Ho took the Girls’ Under 11 crown for the third year in a row. The London East girl showed her class by winning all her group and knockout matches in three straight games.  In the final she beat Letitia McMullen (Hampshire) 11-1, 11-3, 11-8.  This remarkable achievement followed her victory previously this month when she won the British Primary Schools’ Individual title.

Sam Walker (Nottinghamshire) also completed the treble by beating Sean Cullen (Derbyshire) 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 13-11 in the final of the Boys’ Under 19 adding to previous success in the Under 13s in 2008 and Under 11s in 2005. Kent’s Helshan Weerasinghe performed a similar feat following 2007 and 2008 Under 11 title wins by beating Tyrone Wells (London West) 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 in the Boys’ Under 13 Championships.

Following his recent success in the British Primary Individual Championships, Hugo Pang (Dorset) took for the second time the Butterfly Schools’ Individual Boys’ Under 11 title but was pushed hard in a closely contested final by Marcus Giles (London South) 12-10, 11-6, 12-10.  The double was also performed by Lewis Gray (Kent) who sailed through his group and knockout matches in straight sets, only Liam McTiernan taking him to four in the semi-final, before his emphatic victory in the final 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 over Zak Zilesnick (London West).

It is good to see new ESTTA Champions.  The vastly experienced Chloe Whyte (Cleveland) won the Girls’ Under 19 by beating Lucy Davidson (Derbyshire) 9-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-6, which as the score suggests, was a hard fought final. There were close games in the Girls’ Under 13 competition with three quarter-finals decided in the fifth and final game with some dramatic fight-backs.  Emma Torkington (West Sussex) reached the final to improve on her 2009 third place, but Isobel Ashley (Derbyshire) became the Champion, winning 11-9, 11-9, 11-8.

Over 250 players from 50 counties took part in some 750 matches, making this the largest one day Individual event in the country.  These are the 37th National Individual Championships organised in eight age groups by the English Schools’ Table Tennis Association and the fourth sponsored by Ransome Sporting Goods who supply Butterfly equipment for both ESTTA Team and Individual National Finals.

Results can be found on www.estta.org.uk

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