The Norfolk Open Championships 2008
A touch of oriental spice has been added to the Norfolk Open Championships with the entry of Atu Rosalina Sagita from Indonesia. Currently ranked 50 in the world, she will be playing in the womens singles and mixed doubles. In the singles she has been seeded two, behind top seed and existing champion, Rebecca Pantaney (Gloucestershire), currently ranked four in England, who will be going all out to retain her title. In the absence of Danny Plant, Handal Suryaputra (Warwickshire) is top seeded in the mens singles, ahead of Norfolks no.1, Ian Murphy. In the doubles, Murphy will team up with regular partner, Grahame Wells, in a bid to retain the title they won last year.
The womens doubles will see Norfolks Katherine Cooper and Suffolks Toni Sturgeon keen to put the disappointment of the Cambridgeshire Open behind them and retain the Norfolk crown they won last season. Ian Murphy and Rachel Ellis (Notts) and James White and Katherine Cooper are seeded to reach the final of the mixed doubles, whilst Handal Suryaputra partners Atu Rosalina Sagita.
The Championships take place at the UEA Sportspark this weekend, with the singles on Friday, starting at 6.00pm and the doubles events taking place on Saturday from 10.00am onwards. All finals will be on Saturday, except for the womens final which is scheduled for 9.00pm Friday evening. Spectators are most welcome, free of charge, but the usual Sportspark entry fee will apply.
* West Norfolk Junior Badminton played host to the countys Under 11s & 13s moderates tournaments which attracted players from all over the county. But it was the west who won all the titles, with James Smith taking three and Kathryn Baker, Aidan Grange and Rebecca Yallop winning two each.
The semi-finals of the Under 11s boys singles produced two very close matches, both ending in a 21-19 scoreline, with Smith beating Vincent Clarke and Grange edging out Toby Hoare. The final was another close contest with Smith coming out on top 21-16 to take his first title. Smith and Grange then teamed up to win the doubles with Jacob Trend and Dominic Ely runners up and Toby Hoare and Sean Lott coming in third.
Kathryn Baker and Elspeth Straffon Lawrence from Kings Lynn reached the final of the girls singles, beating Dockings Chloe Kissock and Hope Flower in the semis. Baker then continued her recent run of good form by comfortably winning the final. As in the boys event, the two girls singles finalists teamed up to win the girls doubles, dropping no more than four points in each of their games. However, the remaining places were more closely contested with two Docking pairs fighting for the runners up trophies. In the end, it was Hope Flower and Chloe Sarsby who won the deciding game, beating Chloe Kissock and Victoria English 21-19.
Although the entry was lower, there were several close and exciting games in the Under 13s tournament. In the boys singles, Richard Simpson and Billy Winter each won five games but Simpson won the title on points. Daniel Warburton came in third place.
The winners of the boys doubles was not decided until the final match, but it was the Under 11s pair, Smith and Grange, who managed to beat their older opponents, Trend and Ely.
Rebecca Yallop won the girls singles, with Ayla Burridge in second place. The girls doubles produced one of the best matches of the day, with Yallop and Sophie Carter just taking the title from Baker and Straffon Lawrence 21-20.