Salomone wins Triple Crown

Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 6:00

Badminton Malta recently organised the 39th edition of its National Championships; these were played at the Cottonera Sports Complex in Cospicua and at St. Martin’s College in Swatar.

From the 27th edition (which as played in 1998) onwards, Badminton Malta has chosen to sub-title this event as the “Paddy Stubbs Memorial Championships”, in order to keep alive the memory of this great benefactor of Maltese Sport.

The overall event comprised the traditional five categories: Men’s Singles and Doubles, Women’s Singles and Doubles as well as the Mixed Doubles.

Due to the large number of participants, the Men’s Singles category started with a preliminary phase; this was won by Edmond Abela who, in a balanced three-set final, defeated Anthony Xuereb 18/21 – 21/17 – 21/17.

Kenneth Vella, the defending champion, made it once again to the final where he faced Stefan Salomone. On his way to the final, Vella had overcome Rodney Abela and Stephen Ferrante whilst Salomone had defeated Anthony Xuereb and David Cole.

The final started in a balanced manner with the two players sharing exchanges; however, Salomone soon started edging ahead and was 11/7 in front at the half-way stage.

After Vella’s reaction, which brought the partial score to 12/13 in his opponent’s favour, Salomone took control of the proceedings and scored point after point to take the first set 21/15.

Salomone maintained his positive momentum also in the second set where he was leading 11/6 at the half-way stage; he increased his lead to 16/7 and proceeded to win the set 21/11, thereby taking the national Singles title.

Maria Borg and Fiorella Farrugia, last year’s beaten finalist, made it to the final of the Women’s Singles category.

On her way to the final, Borg had defeated Tiziana Mifsud and Catherine Dimech while Farrugia had overcome Catriona Francica and Dominique Francica.

Borg started the final well and was already leading 11/4 at the half-way mark; she maintained her firm grasp over the game until she won the first set 21/15.

Farrugia reacted strongly in the second set and even managed to draw level with her opponent at 10/10. However, Borg quickly regained control and scored repeatedly to win also the second set 21/13, thereby taking the title.

The national Men’s Doubles title was retained by brothers Robert and Stefan Salomone who defeated Kenneth Vella and David Cole 21/11 – 21/12 in the final.

Maria Borg and Fiorella Farrugia won the national Women’s Doubles title after overcoming the challenge of defending champions Joanne Cassar and Catherine Dimech, whom they defeated 21/15 – 21/13 in the final.

Stefan Salomone and Fiorella Farrugia retained the national Mixed Doubles title; they won the respective final 21/14 – 21/12 over Kenneth Vella and Catherine Dimech.

By winning three titles in these National Championships, Stefan Salomone obtained also the platonic “Triple Crown” title.

Badminton Malta expressed its satisfaction at the high standard of play shown throughout these Championships, particularly by the upcoming players who strived to leave their mark on the event; this augurs well for the future of the sport.

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