The next generation of Australian badminton stars has never looked brighter after two thrilling weeks on court at WA Satterley Hall in South Australia for the YONEX U15/U19 National Championships 2023.
Full CP Maddern Results: https://bit.ly/3Y9RCk2
To start the tournament was the YONEX U19 CP Maddern Trophy which saw New South Wales take a commanding 3-1 Finals win over South Australia.
Here’s what New South Wales Captain Jie Ying Chan had to say after the victory:
“I’m very proud of each and every one of my teammates,” he said.
“It’s great to have a chance to play as a team while cheering for your state and teammates.”
Full YONEX U19 National Individual Championship Results: https://bit.ly/3OwXYXx
It was a quick turnaround for the U19 players as next up were the YONEX U19 National Individual Championships.
After several big days on court, it came down to a thrilling set of Finals matches.
MS: Asher Ooi (NSW) def Jie Ying Chan (NSW) 21-19, 21-15
“I am very happy with my performance,” Ooi said after the win.
“I’ve made a lot of people proud and it’s nice to know all of the hard work that I’ve put in during the past few weeks has come to fruition.”
In the lead-up to both the Team and Individual events Ooi paid special attention to increasing his agility across the court.
“Since the start of the tournament my touch, feel and movement has really been on form,” he said.
“I’ve been focusing on increasing my physical effort and going that extra mile to improve my overall fitness.”
More than anything, the U19 Men’s Singles Title has given him plenty of confidence for the future.
“I am now looking to play more tournaments with the aim of getting more international experience,” Ooi said.
WS: Isabella Yan (NSW) def Jazmine Lam (VIC) 21-16, 22-20
“It was a really tough win,” Yan said.
“I was mainly trying to keep my shots sharper and intercept returns a lot faster.”
Despite the win, Yan said it was a “really tough encounter” against Lam as the pair had played against each other many times before.
“After the team event earlier in the week it was very important to focus on recovering for the Individuals,” Yan said.
“We’ve played each other several times before but this match was definitely one of the closest.”
MD: Jordan Yang/Frederick Zhao (VIC) def Shrey Dhand/Jayden Lim (VIC) 21-15, 21-14
“Throughout the week each and every match that we played together we saw improvements and today we played at our best,” Zhao said after the win.
“At the start of the week we were a bit shaky but as the week progressed and once we were in the finals we were on fire and had a lot of fun on court together,” Yang said.
From the first day through to the last, one major area of improvement which the duo attributed to their win was improving their in-game tactics.
“We started playing a lot more aggressively and driving to tactically control the game rather than just rallying,” Zhao said.
“One we got into it and started shouting and bringing more energy we played a lot better,” Yang laughed.
The duo also praised their opponents for putting up a strong performance.
“They are just juniors but for their age they play at a very high level,” Zhao said.
WD: Dania Nugroho/Catrina Tan (SA) def Jazmine Lam/Bethany Li (VIC) 21-13, 21-19
When asked about the South Australian duo’s secret to success their answer was simple.
“It was an important match for us as we had so many South Australian teammates, players, coaches, family and friends cheering us on,” Nugroho said.
“When we could hear our teammates cheering, it certainly gave us the motivation that we needed,” Tan said.
“From the start of Individuals through to the end we really improved on our communication which gave us great energy and vibes which bounced off each other.”
XD: Jordan Yang (VIC)/Sydney Tjonadi (NSW) def Asher Ooi/Isabella Yan (NSW) 21-6, 21-9
Despite the geographical distance, the Yang-Tjonadi pairing reigned supreme in the final event of the U19 National Individual Championships.
“I’ve been doing plenty of work on my front court speed around the net to help out Jordan,” Tjonadi said.
“Even though I live in Sydney and Jordan is from Melbourne, we try to play as many competitions together. Overall I am really proud of my achievements this week.”
In addition to a medal-haul, Tjonadi was also the recipient of the Joy Twinning Trophy which is given to the player exhibits the highest standards of sportsmanship, personality, court demeanour, player ability and determination.
Yang praised his teammate on her excellent work across the front court.
“Sydney is a great player on that part of the court which makes it really easy for me to control what’s going on in the middle and back areas of the court,” he said.
Looking back on his achievements for the week, Yang said he was “over the moon”.
“I didn’t expect to come into this tournament and win twice, but I came here, played my best and got it,” he said with a smile.
The week started off with the YONEX Val Nesbitt U15 Trophy with Victoria taking a 6-2 win over Western Australia to claim the Title.
Full Val Nesbitt Results: https://bit.ly/3rPPCla
Watch the Finals Livestream via the Badminton Australia Facebook: https://fb.watch/m5D3-VkjuA/
Full YONEX U15 National Individual Championships Results: https://bit.ly/3rUEm6N
BS: Om Neelam (VIC) def Aneesh Nirmal (QLD) 18-21, 21-13, 21-13
The U15 National Individual Finals kicked off with a thrilling 43-minute showdown between Victoria’s Om Neelam and Queensland’s Aneesh Nirmal.
Nirmal came out firing to take the first game, however, it wasn’t long before Neelam found his groove to take out the next two to claim the Boys Singles Title.
“I felt that during the Teams event I was quite slow but once we started the Individuals my focus was a lot higher and I played some of my best badminton, especially during finals,” Neelam said after the win.
During the lead up to both tournaments there were several elements of his game which he put firmly in his sights in order to play at his best.
“I really focused on rear-court pushing and practicing my serves to avoid any unnecessary faults,” Neelam said.
“I improved in both of those areas and all the effort certainly helped me.”
Despite the win, it didn’t come easy for Neelam as Nirmal put on a top performance from start to finish.
“During the first game he was full of energy, but then my endurance and stamina kicked in and helped me get the win.”
GS: Mimi Ngo (WA) def Smrithi Adepu (VIC) 21-10, 23-21
After taking out the first game 21-10, Adepu then picked up the pace and pushed Ngo to the limit.
It was definitely a nerve-racking match, but also very fun as I really had to fight back against her,” Ngo said after the win.
To build her confidence ahead of the tournament, Ngo focused on improving all of the basic skills and tactics to ensure she was firing at her absolute best.
BD: Om Neelam(VIC)/Aneesh Nirmal (QLD) def Evan Ji (NSW)/Shih-Yuan Lim (VIC) 21-10, 21-10
After pushing each other to the edge in the Boys Singles Final, Neelam and Nirmal then found themselves back on court, however, this time as teammates in the Boys Doubles Final.
“I am very proud of both of us,” Nirmal said of his performance with Neelam.
“Yesterday we had a tough match in the Semi-Finals and throughout the week we’ve been very dominant.
“All round it was a solid performance from us in the Final as everything clicked aside from a couple of unforced errors here and there.”
GD: Tanvi Sai Mushini (VIC)/Mimi Ngo (WA) def Emily Eric (WA)/Xyn Yi LIng (WA) 21-9, 21-13
Mushini and Ngo put their win down to two critical elements that are crucial to any pairing: defence and friendship.
The duo used these attributes to power themselves to gold in a commanding 21-9, 21-13 performance over Ling and Eric.
The victory didn’t come easy as they had to overcome strong defence and smashes from their opponents.
XD: Om Neelam (VIC)/Mimi Ngo (WA) def Cayven Teo (VIC)/Alphonsa Bijomon (VIC) 20-22, 21-6, 21-7
To cap off the week, Neelam and Ngo returned to court for the Mixed Doubles Final where they put on strong performance to secure gold over Teo and Bijomon.
Bijomon also finished the competition by being named as the recipient of the Jan and Ross Synot Sportsmanship Award which is given to the U15 player who exhibits the highest standards of sportsmanship, personality, court demeanour, player ability and determination.