March 16, 2017 by Jo Pike
Saturday 11th March and a full contingent of Team Leics juniors converged on Warwick for the U16 Silver – held at 2 different venues due to the size of the entry!
As usual, mixed doubles started the day – more unusually with only 16 pairs making the cut it was played as a straight knockout with only 2 of the starting 4 Leics pairs making it through to round 2. Unfortunately, these 2 pairs were slated to play each other in round 2; this time it was Sameer Chenia & Sophie Watson getting the better of Jess Rodgers and her partner Ben. Although they were not able to progress past the top seeds in round 3 it was a bronze medal for Sophie and Sameer.
Meanwhile, over at the girls’ venue, Myton School, both Tamsin Betts and Jess Allen won their groups to make it through to the quarter finals. Although Tamsin was not able to beat eventual winner Smrithi Shirol, Jess won her quarter against Lavigne Leung before a semi final loss to Nottinghamshire’s Megan Brierley. Another bronze medal for Leicestershire!
The real excitement of the day however was taking place back at St Nicholas Leisure Centre in the boys doubles. Sameer and Harry were quietly making progress through the competition, despite having started the day in the bottom half of the draw. Having won all their group games, the pair efficiently dispatched their quarter final opponents 15-5 and 15-12 before meeting #2 seeds Jackson and Saunders in the semis. Having won the first relatively easily 15-9, the Hampshire pair fought back to take the second 15-12 to set up the deciding game which the Leics boys dominated to win 15-5 and earn their place in the final!
As expected, their opponents were the top seeds Samuel Jones and Joseph Scott. What was more unexpected was the final scoreline – a win for Harry and Sameer 15-8 15-10 and a fabulous gold medal for the Leics boys!