Young Lydia tackles top event

Lydia Powell, badminton starlet from Hastings

Lydia Powell, badminton starlet from Hastings

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Lydia Powell was the youngest player to compete in more than one event at the English National Badminton Championships.

The Hastings-based talent lined-up in the women’s singles and doubles at the Bolton Arena last weekend even though she doesn’t turn 16 until April.

Ranked 54th in the country for singles, Lydia was handed a first round tie against 24th-ranked Natalie Chan-Lam, who although only a couple of months older than Lydia, trains full time with the England squad.

Lydia tried her best on Friday afternoon, but was beaten 12-21, 9-21 by a Yorkshire-based player who went on to reach the quarter-finals where she was knocked out by number three seed Sarah Walker.

The next day Lydia teamed up with Zoe Hallam, from Staffordshire, in the doubles. After being handed a bye in round one, they took on Raveesha Fernando and Lexi Gilders in round two.

Although Lydia, who is ranked 44th nationally for doubles, and Zoe lost 16-21, 18-21 to their Buckinghamshire opponents, they had their chances and their performance was noticed.

She is ranked number one nationally for girls’ doubles in the under-16 age group, as well as being in the top four for mixed doubles and top five for singles.

See Friday’s Hastings Observer for the full article.