Scotland’s young badminton starlets have a greater idea of the tests they face after the draw for the U11 National Junior Badminton Championships was made today.
Boys’ singles favourite Michael O’Neil Ferrero is in Group 1, with Shaan Suvarna, Adam Li, Josh Robertson, Joseph Shell and Teemu Christensen all bidding to halt the top seed’s progress to the A-knockout stages.
Players in all events will go forward to the appropriate knock-out draws, reflecting their finishing position in the group stages, but only those players who progress to the A-knockout draws will compete for the national titles.
There are four groups in total in the boys’ singles, with second seed Alfie Martin and joint 3/4 seeds Nathan Sadler and Lewis Smith favourites in Groups 2, 3 and 4 respectively, all hoping to progress to the quarter finals of the A-knockout stages by finishing among the top two in their groups.
In the girls’ singles, number one seed Deepti Vijayakumar will face off against Heilidh McIntyre, Hannah Buxel, Abigail Barrie and Qing Yang Xiao in Group 1.
If Pranavi Singh is to have a chance at glory as the second seed, she must first negotiate Group 2’s line-up of Ingrid Wang, Ellie Lewis, Esther Meldrum and Jezzica Khan.
Smith and Cameron Russell are favourites in the boys’ doubles and are in a group which also boasts Sadler and Rory Meldrum.
While in Group 2, Martin and Ferrero will put aside their rivalry in the singles to team up and aim to seal progress to the semi-finals, again with the top two teams heading through to the A-knockout stages.
The girls’ doubles tournament consists of a five-team strong round-robin, followed by a straight shootout final clash between the top two pairs.
Vijayakumar and Xiao are tipped for the title and go into the competition as favourites, but face stiff competition in the form of Singh and Barrie, McIntyre and Wang, Buxel and Lewis and Meldrum and Khan.
Badminton Scotland chief executive Anne Smillie said: “All this season’s junior nationals have been a great success and I am sure the Under 11s will be no exception.
“This is the youngest age group in our National Championship series and it is an opportunity to watch our stars of the future in action.
“If previous years are anything to go by, it will be great to see the enthusiasm and excitement on the faces of these youngsters as we give help them take their first steps on the badminton ladder.”
The draw will be published by Wednesday 9 May 2018 at www.tournamentsoftware.com