August 11, 2022
There was English representation in every single final of the Yonex France U17 Open last month with four victories, including one in an all-England match-up.
Jason Ou claimed two golds in the men’s and mixed doubles, with Yulia Tang won the mixed doubles as well as the women’s doubles with Matilda Franklin.
Jia Bin Lee joined Ou in the men’s doubles triumph and also reached the men’s singles final, while Varsha Kumar stormed to gold in the women’s event.
In the all-English mixed doubles final, Ou and Yulia Tang prevailed 21-14, 21-18 over Jia Bin Lee and Lucy Brierley.
Ou and Tang had defeated Nicolas Fouquet and Clara Ayuso Thevenet of France in the quarter-finals, with the French pair knocking out Sumedh Reddy Chittamuru and Matilda Franklin in round two.
Rafael Cresdee and Hattie Herbert also reached the second round where they came up against Joep Strooper and Inger Pothuizen of the Netherlands, who advanced 21-18, 21-11.
Ahead of reaching the final, Lee and Brierley had knocked out England teammate Katie Ovenden, who was playing with Hugo Chanthakesone of Switzerland, 21-17, 21-9.
Dillon Chong, playing with Dutchwoman Wille Florine reached the quarterfinals having earlier defeated David Ng and Emily Chen 23-21, 21-16, while James Song and Sofie Chong were defeated 21-19, 18-21, 21-19 by the second seeds Andrei Schmidt and Heili Merisalu.
In the women’s singles, top seed Varsha Kumar claimed gold, dropping only one game in Aire-sur-la-Lys, defeating Germany’s Constaze Winnefeld 21-14, 16-21, 21-13.
Her run to the top spot on the podium began with a bye in round one, before wins against France duo Clara Ruffin and Noémie Caura 21-4, 21-18 and 21-8, 21-6.
Against English teammate Yulia Tang in the quarterfinals, Kumar faced a tougher test coming through 21-17, 21-14 before defeating Wille Florine of the Netherlands 21-17, 21-11 to make the showpiece where she would claim gold.
Carly Stevenson, Hattie Herbert and Katie Ovenden saw their women’s singles campaigns end in the first round while Grace Sachdeva and Sofie Chong were knocked out in the second.
Matilda Franklin and Lucy Brierley both reached the quarterfinals with the former suffering a 21-17, 21-16 defeat to Wille Florine while Brierley lost out to home favourite Clara Ayuso Thevenet.
Meanwhile, Jia Bin Lee and Jason Ou secured gold in the men’s doubles, defeating second seeds Nicola Fouquet and Ewan Goulin of France 16-21, 21-18, 21-19 in a marathon match.
Goulin and Fouquet had been pushed all the way by England pair Sumedh Reddy Chittamuru and Dillon Chong who lost out 21-16, 23-25, 21-14 in the semi-finals.
Earlier in the draw, David Ng and James Song put up a fight against German first seeds Philipp Euler and Danial Iman Marzuan but lost 24-22, 13-21, 21-17 in the second round.
While Rafael Cresdee and Daniel Wykes were knocked out at the same stage falling 21-18, 18-21, 21-19 to Swiss duo Arnaud Boschung and Felix Ekstrand.
Matilda Franklin and Yulia Tang triumphed in the women’s doubles final winning every match in straight games as they defeated Heili Merisalu and Emilia Shapovalova of Estonia 21-13, 21-15.
Merisalu and Shapovalova had earlier defeated Lucy Brierley and Grace Sachdeva 21-15, 26-24 in the second round.
While Sofie Chong and Kayleigh Ann Williams beat the French pair who had knocked out Emily Chen and Maria Mitchell in the first round 22-20, 13-21, 21-16.
Chong and Williams went on to deafeat Marine Bouriez and Noémie Caura 21-17, 16-21, 21-18 before losing out to German second seeds Isabel Kleban and Constanze Winnefeld in the quarterfinals.
Jia Bin Lee fought valiantly in the men’s singles final falling 20-22, 21-15, 21-13 to Ewan Goulin as the French fifth seed recovered from losing the first game to take gold.
Lee had knocked out Goulin’s compatriot Nathan Bouillot in the semi-finals, breezing through 21-13, 21-5 to defeat the third seed, while Goulin defeated Ou 21-16 21-12.
In the build-up to the semi-finals, Lee had come through two all-England affairs beating James Song 21-17, 18-21, 21-18 in round three, dropping a game for the first time.
Against fellow Englishman Dillon Chong, Lee recorded a 21-16, 21-14 win in the fourth round to knock out the second seed, with Chong having earlier beaten fellow Englishman Daniel Wykes 21-5, 21-16.
Aarya Ramachandra and David Ng saw their involvement come to an end at the first round stage, while Chittamuru advanced one stage further and Rafael Cresdee became the first of Goulin’s three English conquests in the third round.