On Sunday 16th November, the University Badminton Club held its fourth annual charity badminton championships. Having supported different charities each year, the club held a poll for members to choose a shortlist of charities to support, which was then voted on by the committee. Given that treasurer, Yuyan Wang has dealt with Hope Station China directly and president Hayleigh Edson joined with Yuyan’s team of volunteers to help fundraise for them – the committee voted to support them for the year. Hope Station is a foster home that takes care of abandoned and disabled children from orphanages in poor parts of China, providing them with a better chance in life. The tournament raised £215.50 for Hope Station, a club record amount raised for any charity.
There was a great hiccup and there was time to hold the men’s quarter-finals before the lunch break. In the first quarter-final Danny Myers played Alex Robinson and after what was an excellent game to watch, Danny progressed to the semi-finals winning 21-10, 21-15. The second quarter-final was between Maneesh Kuruvilla and Michael Hahn. Maneesh’s deception and extremely well-placed shots proved too much for Michael on this occasion and he took the game 21-11, 21-10. Kicking off the third quarter-final were Jiaqi Shi and alumnus Stuart Owen. Given Stuart hadn’t played singles much before the tournament, he tried his hardest with some big dives but Jiaqi’s tricky net shots proved too much for Stuart this time and he took the game 22-20, 21-14. The last quarter-final was Sam Careelmont facing Andrew Morgan. Sam was on form and played some excellent shots, his experience proving giving him the win over Andrew on the day. The match finished 21-16, 21-13. Following the quarter-finals participants were rewarded with a picnic lunch and a bake sale which was incredibly well stocked, thanks to committee members and BakeSoc for their kind contributions.turn out from team players, social players and alumni – making the standard of the tournament incredibly high. Having alumni competing in the event was a first in the club’s history and it was an exciting time to have them attend whilst planning for the alumni weekend in April is well underway. The championships started with the group stages of the men’s and women’s events. There was a very high standard with games being very close and excellent shot making from all. The smooth running of the event meant that group stage matches were completed without
After lunch, participants who were no longer in the competition stayed behind to watch some extremely competitive badminton between the semi-finalists. With four games happening at the same time, spectators didn’t know where to look. In the women’s semi finals Latonia Lam took on Liu Chang. In this medic/second team face-off, Chang played some excellent shots and there were some fantastic rallies but ‘singles specialist’ Latonia’s unbelievable reach and fitness meant that she was on top of everything. Latonia finished her game clinically (they’re both medics…) winning 21-13, 21-11 and confirming her place in the final. The second women’s semi-final was a grudge match between best friends, academic sisters and last year’s finalists, Krista Plociennik and Hayleigh Edson. Krista was on form and had shown her intentions to win by dominating her group, whereas Hayleigh had to fight incredibly hard through some close group matches in order to get to the semi’s. This and perhaps a few too many cakes took their toll on Hayleigh’s performance. Krista controlled the match from start to finish finally disposing of Hayleigh, who made a good effort but wasn’t strong enough to beat last year’s winner. Krista cemented her place in the final with a 21-16, 21-19 win. The quality of the men’s semi-finals was awesome. In the first semi-final Maneesh played Jiaqi, fresh from their quarter-final wins, in what was a re-match from the group stages. Having got three wins in the tournament previously, it was clear from the outset that Maneesh was not willing to let go of his chance to win his fourth consecutive title. Jiaqi, exhausted from his previous match with Maneesh in the group stages and from his quarter-final match couldn’t hold out against Maneesh’s onslaught, losing 21-15, 21-19. The semi-final match between Sam and Danny resulted in an epic showdown. Due to the player’s excellent control and movement each point lasted numerous shots. Sam showed amazing character to come back from 20-16 down to win the first game 22-20. Sam finished ahead in the second match as well, 21-19 in another close confrontation.
After a short third set decider by which time both players were running on fumes. Krista used her experience to her advantage playing Latonia around the court with accurately placed shots. Despite Latonia’s best efforts fighting back from 20-15, Krista took the third game, 21-19, and therefore the title for a second year in a row. The men’s final was the last match of the day. Both Maneesh and Sam were inspired by the women’s final. In the first game, Sam’s exhausting semi-final match and Maneesh’s skillful play got the better of him with Maneesh snagging a 21-11 win. Sam rose to the challenge and spurred himself on with shouts of “move your ass!!!!!” Maneesh remained unfazed however and won the second game 21-18. Sam put up a great fight, but Maneesh walked off the court with his fourth consecutive title.break the third place playoffs took place between Danny and Jiaqi and Hayleigh and Chang. In the men’s playoff, both players fought hard to secure 3rd but Danny got the win 21-15, 21-16. Hayleigh won the first game of the women’s playoff convincingly 21-13, but Chang fought back in the second only just missing out on the win losing 22-20. The crowd’s anticipation grew as this left only the two finals to play. Krista and Latonia took center stage first. Krista started off the match well taking the first game 21-16. Latonia, however, showed her desire to win and unwillingness to back down by winning the second game 21-18. With cheers coming from the crowd for both players, the match went to a
Special thanks must be given to all of our tournament sponsors, a list of which can be found on our website. The sponsors generously donated various amazing prizes into our charity raffle, which led to the raffle tickets selling out! Additionally, thanks must be given to Danny and Hayleigh for the tournament and for everyone who participated to make it such a successful day.
Fourth Annual Charity Singles Tournament
Our winners Krista and Maneesh
2nd Place Latonia and Sam
3rd Place Hayleigh and Danny