Young Lydia tackles top event

Lydia Powell, badminton starlet from Hastings
Lydia Powell, badminton starlet from Hastings

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.