European team-mates hunt individual glory

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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World Schools Championship bronze medallists Maria Tsaptsinos (Berkshire), Emma Torkington (Kent) and Yuki Wat (East Sussex) will forget their team allegiance and fight it out for the Under-19 girls’ title at the Butterfly Schools Individual Championships at the weekend.

The absence of Tin-Tin Ho, the fourth member of the team which brought back the bronze from France earlier this month, means the competition in Doncaster is wide open, and regular participants Vicki Smith (Devon), Isobel Ashley (Derbyshire) and Lois Peake (West Sussex) will also fancy their chances.

Last year's under-16 finalists are all in contention again.

Reigning Under-16 boys’ champion Helshan Weerasinghe (Kent) may well have to repeat last year’s victory over Gabriel Achampong (London North) if he is to win the Under-19 crown. Marco Tang (Lincolnshire) must be in with a shout, as will many of the 45 players in this event.

The 2012 winner of the Under-16 girls’ championship, Emily Bolton (Cumbria), is seeded No 1 in this year’s competition but has strong opposition from Nicole Bird (Northamptonshire) and Ella Patel (Essex), not forgetting Jazmin Johns (Devon) and previous Under-13 champion Hiba Feredj (London North).

Double champion Tim Jarvis (Lincolnshire), seeded No 1, will be looking to add the Under-16 boys’ title to his previous successes at Under-11 and Under-13. The field contains three medallists defeated by Tim last year – Hugo Pang (Dorset), Alex Ramsden (Nottinghamshire) and Joshua Bennett (East Sussex) but they may find the step-up from Under-13 to Under-16 too much when playing against the likes of Alex Ward (Cleveland), Luke Savill (Kent) and London Academy’s Omar Khassal (London North).

The finalists from last year's under-13 boys' competitionTop-ranked players can be found in each group in the Under-13 girls’ championships but Denise Payet (London North) and Kate Cheer (West Sussex) will have to be beaten by any others with designs on the final. The boys’ event will crown a new Butterfly Schools’ Individual Champion – seeded players are Harry Dai (Humber), James Smith (London South), Shayan Siraj (West Yorkshire) and Ethan Walsh (Hertfordshire).

The Under-11 events include all members of the teams who were highly successful in the Home Countries Primary International held earlier this month in Jersey. They must all be medal contenders, as will current title holder Amirul Hussain (Greater Manchester). The entry of both boys’ and girls’ Under-11 events augers well for the future.

The event is the 41st ESTTA Individual Championships, with the same record 313 players as last year, making their way to The Dome, Doncaster on 26th April.

Results will be published on www.estta.org.uk

by John Arnold MBE (22nd April, 2014)

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