Vijayakumar going for title double as seeds announced for U11 Nationals

The time has nearly come for the best young badminton players from across the country to show off their talent after the seedings for the U11 National Junior Badminton Championships were confirmed.

Boys and girls from all over Scotland will descend on the National Badminton Academy, Scotstoun, for the competition – taking place on May 12 in Glasgow.

They’ll do so looking to follow in the footsteps of competitors past, with Ben Riddle and Brooke Stalker celebrating the double 12 months ago – both winning in the singles and doubles.

This year Deepti Vijayakumar will be the one looking to achieve that feat, with the Edinburgh shuttler seeded first for both the girls’ singles and girls' doubles.

Second seed in the singles will be Glasgow’s Pranavi Singh, on her home courts, while Vijayakumar will pair up with fellow Edinburgh player Qing Yang Xiao in the doubles, looking to follow Katrina Chan and Stalker onto the top step of the podium.

Meanwhile Michael O’Neil Ferrero of Stonehaven will be tournament favourite in the boys’ singles, the title last won by North Berwick’s Riddle.

But hot on his heels will be Alfie Martin, while Nathan Sadler and Lewis Smith are the other two expected to challenge for honours as joint 3/4 seeds.

Martin and Ferrero will also be competing on the same side of the net in the boys’ doubles, but they won’t be favourites for the title – that mantle instead going to Dunblane’s Cameron Russell and Lewis Smith of Glasgow.

Badminton Scotland chief executive Anne Smillie said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming the best U11 players from around the country to Scotstoun on May 12.

“All the top players around the world have to start from somewhere and perhaps we may see players competing here who go on to be world beaters in the years to come.

“You never forget your first badminton memories and hopefully all those who take part will be inspired to pick up a racket throughout their lives.”

Draws will be published at by Wednesday 9 May.