NATIONAL SCHOOLS INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

 

Catherine Lv of Knighton Park and Leicester Junior Grammar School today (Saturday) won the Girls Under 11 title at the Table Tennis England Schools Individual Championships National Finals 2022.

 

Having won the Leicestershire title in December, she along with 6 other Leicestershire champions represented our County at this very large event at Wolverhampton.

 

Catherine won her group of 5 winning all her 4 matches.  Her successes included beating the number 3 seed. Catherine then got a bye in the last 16 and played Violet- Lily Marquis of Bedfordshire nationally TTE ranked 26th U13 in the quarter finals winning 3-0.

 

Her semi final was an epic. Playing against Hannah Saunders of Cambridgeshire , the number 2 seed and nationally TTE ranked 8th in U13, Catherine went down 0-2 before recovering by winning the third and then the fourth game. Hannah recovered to go into an early lead turning round 5-2 up and then 8-4 up before Catherine hit her best form winning 7 consecutive points to win the fifth 11-8. What a comeback.

 

Catherine's opponent in the Final was Alyssa Nguyen of Devon the number 1 seed and nationally TTE ranked 7th U13. Alyssa took the first before Catherine just took the second to draw equal. Catherine took the third and the fourth to become a most deserved champion.

 

 

Shirley coached her throughout and I was so pleased to lend support on this historic occasion.

 

Catherine is the first Leicestershire Schools Individual National Champion since Chris Rogers won the Boys U19 title in 1977 following the wins by Anita Stevenson and then Karen Rogers now Smith in Girls U19 in 1974 and 1975 respectively - 45 year wait!

 

The other players representing Leicestershire were Reuben Mellor of Burbage Junior and George Ward Barwell( Boys U11) , Faisal Mulla of Manor and Knighton Park( Boys U 13) , Roma Morjaria of Leicester High School and Knighton Park( Girls U16) , Cory Lancaster of Beauchamp and Knighton Park( Boys U16) , Milly Kotecha of Leicester Grammar School ( Girls U19) and Oscar Bentley of WQE and Knighton Park( Boys U19) . These all played well but only Oscar progressed from the groups by coming second in his group of 6 winning 4 matches but came up against the 8th seed Bertie Kelly of Somerset who beat him in 4 but Oscar played very well .

 

So overall a most enjoyable experience which would have given all much experience against other good players.

The highlight remains inevitably the stellar performance by a very calm and determined Catherine who built on her recent victory in the East Midlands Regional U13 event which will lead on to representing East Midlands in the National Inter Regionals in May

 

Mike Smith

Catherine Lv with her coach, Shirley Pickering