Promising juniors share the limelight

Monday, November 8, 2010, 11:20

Badminton National Junior Championships 2010

This national competition is an established annual feature in the seasonal calendar of Badminton Malta. It primarily serves to focus the spotlight on the emerging talents within the Association’s junior ranks.

The Championships started with the U/13 and U/16 Singles and Doubles events, which were played at the Cottonera Sports Complex. The defending champion Matthew Abela made it once again to the final of the U/13 Boys’ Singles event, where he faced the challenge of Nigel Degaetano. On his way to the final, Matthew Abela had defeated Luke Sultana and Mark Abela in straight sets.

On his part, Nigel Degaetano had a more arduous path to the final as he had to initially overcome Zach Sultana in the preliminary round; he then proceeded to defeat Matthew Galea and the 2009 runner-up Luigi Grech.In the final, Degaetano maintained his positive momentum and made the U/13 national Singles title his own when he overcame Matthew Abela 21/19 21/15 at the end of a balanced match which was well played by both contenders.

The equivalent Girls’ Singles title was won by Sacha Cini, the 2009 runner-up, who defeated Shannon McEvoy 21/4 21/5 in the final. The U/16 Boys’ Singles final was contested by Kyle Sciberras and by the U/13 runner-up, Matthew Abela. On his way to the final, Sciberras had first ousted defending champion Owen Grech at the end of a balanced three-set thriller which he won 18/21 27/25 21/19, before proceeding to defeat Cain Gatt in straight sets.

On his part, Abela overcame the challenge of Luigi Grech as well as of Reece Galea. In the final, it was Kyle Sciberras who took the national U/16 title when he defeated Matthew Abela 21/9 22/20. The final for the equivalent Girls’ Singles U/16 title saw Joanna Ciantar take on the 2009 runner-up Atlanta Cochrane.  The former had defeated Lisa Formosa and Sarah Debono on her way to the final while the latter had overcome Petra Grech and Clarissa Grech.

In the ensuing final, it was Joanna Ciantar who took the national U/16 title with a 21/8 21/10 victory over Cochrane.

The U/16 Boys’ Doubles title was won by Nigel Degaetano / Kyle Sciberras who combined well to overcome the challenge of Owen Grech / Matthew Abela, whom they defeated 21/17 21/19 at the end of a balanced final in which both pairs played their hearts out.

The equivalent Girls’ Doubles title was retained by the defending champions Atlanta Cochrane / Lisa Formosa who won the final 21/18 21/12 over Petra Grech / Clarissa Grech.

Badminton Malta expressed its satisfaction at the high standard of play shown by all the participants as well as at the sporting attitude manifested throughout the entire competition, noting that this augured well for the future whilst at the same time motivating the participants to higher achievement.

The U/19 National Championships will now follow.

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