The Middlesex Country Championships provided a fantastic day for young Badminton players from Tower Hamlets, with triple success in the U15 category, led by Mannah Rahman, and with a promising start for the THYSF Sporting Diamonds Rackets Programme who took part in their first ever Badminton competition.

20150905_151839_zps96lpigziStepney Green School pupil Mannah Rahman, 14, took all 3 titles at the Middlesex U15 county championships held in early September at The Dome in Hounslow. Firstly sweeping aside all opponents in the boys singles events, Rahman beating 6 quality opponents on the way to sealing victory. The singles final proved a comfortable 21-15 win in Rahman’s favour, with Rahman dishing up a few trickshots on his way to victory.

Next up was the Boys doubles competition. Mannah partnered Gulam Rasul Mahi from St Pauls Way School. The Tower Hamlets pair breezed past their group opponents and proved too fast and skilful for their semi-final opponents, scoring a comprehensive victory. The final was a different story and proved to be a dramatically close affair. Mannah’s obvious skill at the front of the net and Mahi dominating from the back of the court with his power, the boys held their nerve in the final with a winning score of 21-18.

To complete an outstanding and unexpected hat-trick of titles, Mannah paired up with Sir John Cass school pupil Veronica Ramires. Veronica had found things tough in the girls singles and girls doubles earlier in the day but managed to up her game and proved to be the outstanding player on the court in each of the pair’s mixed matches. Excellent serving and unbelievable reactions at the net saw Veronica and Mannah take the mixed title in great style.

20150905_143333_zpszydm2fk4On the same day, Tower Hamlets took a fresh and promising set of young players to compete in the U11 Middlesex County championships. Two girls and four boys were selected from the Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Foundation Sporting Diamonds Rackets programme. It was an opportunity for these inexperienced youngsters to get a first taste of regional competition. These young players surpassed all expectation firstly with Ryan Buttery (St Saviours School) and Arayo La Torre Cruz (Guardian Angels) teaming up to scoop the runners up medal in the Boys doubles on their first ever tournament. This was quickly followed up by an unexpected win for girls pair Caterina Gibbs (English Martyrs School) and Aisha Mohamed (Shapla Primary School) in the U11 girls doubles with Caterina also taking the silver medal in the U11 girls singles.

Head Badminton Coach of Tower Hamlets Badminton Academy and Badminton Development Officer for Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Foundation, Chris Dakin was delighted, but not altogether surprised by the results over the past weekend. “Those players from the U15 category were immense today. Their performance is reflective of the hard work and effort the schools in the Borough have provided to drive forward Badminton in afterschool sessions over the last couple of years. It’s wonderful to have a cross section of both boys and girls from different schools and areas of the Borough coming together and really showing off their talents.”

Head coach of the THYSF Sporting Diamonds Rackets programme, Lee Murray, was equally glowing in his praise for his U11 players. “For a first tournament for these set of players, the results are nothing short of incredible. We knew we had a talented group of young players but what they achieved today was exceptional”.

This was the first tournament of the season for Tower Hamlets young Shuttlers, and it represents a perfect start for the series of tournaments that lie ahead this season. The U13 and U17 Middlesex County Championships are set to take place later this month; let’s hope Rahman and Co can reproduce similar success.