West Norfolk badminton ace Harry, 10, wins silver medals at open

Harry Wakefield
Harry Wakefield
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West Norfolk Junior Badminton player, Harry Wakefield (pictured), won two silver medals at the under 12 Essex open in Redbridge at the weekend.

Harry, 10, was joined by older brother Charlie and Jessi Bateman who were playing in the U14 open at the same venue.

Despite playing up an age category, Harry won his group to reach the knock out stage and after a very tight three-set game in the first round he battled his way through to the semi-final where he played the number two seed. Harry won the match 15-11, 15-13 to earn the right to play the number one seed in the final.

Harry shocked the top seed by winning the first game 15–8, but the higher ranked player dug deep and won the next two games 11-15, 10-15, with Harry taking the runners-up silver.

In the doubles Harry and partner Isum Arachchige comfortably won their group to reach the semi-finals where they won a very tight match against the number 3 seeds 15-8, 13-15, 17-15. In the final they faced last year’s U11 national doubles champions. Despite a spirited fight they were unable to find a way past the older boys losing 15-11, 15-8, giving Harry his second silver medal of the day.

In the U14 open girls singles Jessi Bateman, 13, dropped a game in her group but went through to the knock out stage as group runner-up. This put her in the same part of the draw as the number two seed, and unfortunately Jessi was knocked out by the higher ranked player in the quarter-finals in two very close games 16-14 18-16.

In the boys’ event, Charlie was unbeaten in his group and went through to the knockout stage where he faced the number 2 seed and 12th-ranked player in the country.

Charlie won the match 15-13 15-7 to progress to the quarter-final stage. He then played the number five seed who proved too strong for him, going out 15-9 15-13.

West Norfolk Junior Badminton is sponsored by Roythorne’s Garage of North Wootton.