Lydia lands medal hat-trick

Lydia Powell is pictured as part of Badminton England's SmashUp! initiative. Picture courtesy Neil Turner
Lydia Powell is pictured as part of Badminton England's SmashUp! initiative. Picture courtesy Neil Turner

Badminton talent Lydia Powell continued her impressive 2013/14 season by claiming a hat-trick of medals at a high level competition.

The Hastings-based player started the new year in determined form by winning a gold and two silvers at the Badminton England U19 Gold Tournament in Nottingham.

Seeded number four in the singles, Powell enjoyed a bye through the first round before coming through a tough battle against Nicola Gresty in the second 21-16, 17-21, 21-17.

The quarter-final against number six seed Paige Butler went according to seeding with Powell winning in straight games 21-18, 21-17. This set up a semi-final against Powell’s doubles partner and number one seed Jessica Hopton, which Powell came from behind to take 18-21, 21-17, 21-16.

Powell controlled the first game of the final against fifth seed Tsui-Yee Bethany Lau, winning 21-17. She then dominated the second, winning 21-8 to take the gold medal.

Powell and Hopton were seeded two in the doubles, and received a bye through to the quarter-finals where they completed a 21-11, 21-16 victory over Lara Molloy and Alice Torjussen.

In the semi-finals, Powell and Hopton faced number three seeds Gresty and Devon Minnis. In a tight match that reflected the closeness of the seedings, Powell and Hopton edged home 21-19, 21-18.

This set up a final against the number one seeds Ira Banerjee and Jessica Pugh. Banerjee and Pugh won the first 21-15 and were 18-15 up in the second when Hopton sustained an injury and had to retire, meaning she and Powell had to settle for silver medals.

In the mixed event, Powell teamed up with Sean Vendy and the pair were seeded number two, earning them a first round bye. The pair’s first match in round two was against Marcus Smith and Hopton. Powell and Vendy played controlled badminton to close out the match 21-14, 21-16.

In the quarter-finals, the pair eased to a 21-18, 21-11 victory over Michael Sidwell and Emily Rose Witts. Powell and Vendy prevailed 21-18, 20-22, 21-18 in a hotly contested semi-final against number seven seeds James William Farmer and Minnis.

Vendy also picked up an injury, though, which meant he and Powell weren’t able to contest the final against number one seeds Ben Lane and Pugh.