Ace Lydia stars at Wimbledon

Badminton talent Lydia Powell reached the final of three events at the Wimbledon Under-19 Gold Tournament
Badminton talent Lydia Powell reached the final of three events at the Wimbledon Under-19 Gold Tournament

Lydia Powell won three medals at a competition which attracted many of the country’s top young badminton players.

The Hastings-based talent claimed one gold and two silver medals at the Wimbledon Under-19 Gold Tournament, and was the only player to appear in three finals.

She said: “It was a really good weekend. I went in looking to defend my title in the singles and see what I could do in the other two events, and throughout the weekend I played some of the most consistent high quality badminton I’ve ever played.”

Powell began the singles by winning group G with comfortable straight sets victories in both matches before seeing off her doubles partner, number two seed Jess Hopton (Avon), 21-16, 21-12 in the quarter-finals.

After arriving home at 11pm on the Saturday night and returning to Wimbledon for the first of her three semi-finals at 9am the following morning, she reached the singles final by overcoming fourth seed Paige Butler (Kent) 21-17, 21-14.

Powell and Hopton then won their girls’ doubles semi-final against fourth seeds Butler and Tsui-Yee Bethany Lau (Bedfordshire) 21-16, 21-18 before Powell teamed up with Sean Vendy (Buckinghamshire) to achieve a very good 21-14, 21-13 success against James Farmer (Yorkshire) and Devon Minnis (Norfolk) in the mixed doubles semi-finals.

Next up was the mixed doubles final, in which second seeds Powell and Vendy were edged out 21-16, 19-21, 15-21 by top seeds and European under-17 champions Ben Lane (Devon) and Jessica Pugh (Shropshire) in a really intense game which could have gone either way.

Powell was straight back on court for the singles final and her previous endeavours took their toll as she was beaten 10-21, 15-21 by Ira Banerjee (Hampshire) - a player she had never previously lost to. “There was nothing in me at all to play that game,” she said.

Powell regained some energy in time for the girls’ doubles final as she and Hopton got the better of top seeds Banerjee and Pugh 24-22, 19-21, 21-15 having recovered from 15-20 down in the first game with a run of points on Powell’s serve.

“I played very well in all my games apart from the singles final,” Powell added. “If I had been playing two events, I feel I would’ve won the two events.

“I feel I’ve got to drop an event. I think I want to be a singles player, but it’s difficult at the moment when I’m strong in the other events.”

Powell was due to be in Milton Keynes on Monday and Tuesday for meetings with Sky and the National Badminton League before flying out to Switzerland for an under-19 tournament on Wednesday.

Shortly after that Powell - who trains with her one-to-one coach in Ashford and does some additional work in Hastings - will play her first Swiss club match and a competition in Denmark is also on the agenda.