Zach Russ travelled to Redbridge Leisure Centre to take part in the BE U15 National Championships on the 5th and 6th April, 2014.
Seeded three of four in the Boys Singles event, Zach cruised through his qualifying box with a simple 21-2 21-5 victory over Alex Moir, followed by a 21-8 21-17 victory over Oliver Chapman.
Zach’s seeding earned a bye through the first knockout round.
In the second knockout round, Zach eased to a straight games victory against Tom Hatton 21-13 21-17.
In the quarter-final, Zach then faced the five of eight seed, James Youle. Zach was in fine form and convincingly won the first game 21-9, before sealing the match with a 21-12 victory in the second.
This set up a semi-final against the number one seed, Buckinghamshire’s Johnnie Torjussen. Despite being a year younger than his opponent, Zach fought hard but was just edged out in the first game 17-21. Johnnie’s experience showed through in the second as he won 21-14, leaving Zach with the U15 National Championships Singles Bronze medal.
Hungry for more success, Zach then teamed up with Oxfordshire’s Alex Cook in the Boys Doubles event, with the pair being seeded three of four.
In the first match of the qualifying box, Zach and Alex delivered a convincing 21-11 21-9 victory over Joshua Foot and Ethan Van Leeuwen. The pair then faced a sterner test in their second match against Luke Donnegan and Tom Hatton. Zach and Alex edged the first game 22-20, before focussing themselves to win the second by a wider 21-14 margin, and so take the match and seal top place in the qualifying box.
In the quarter-final, Zach and Alex faced Christopher Adey and Oliver Chapman. Zach and Alex controlled the match from the outset and won in straight games, 21-16 21-10, to earn a place in the semi-finals.
On paper, the semi-final match against the number two seeds, Avinash Gupta and Steven Stallwood, looked incredibly difficult. Zach and Alex stepped up to the challenge and achieved a fantastic victory in straight games 21-16 21-18 to progress to the final.
In the final, Zach and Alex faced the number one seeds, Callum Hemming and Harry Huang. Callum and Harry raced through the first game winning convincingly 21-12. Zach and Alex steadied themselves in the second before pulling ahead and winning by an equally impressive 21-13 margin to tie up the match and take it to a deciding third game. The third game was much closer, but Callum and Harry were able to maintain a lead to win 21-17, leaving Zach and Alex with the U15 National Championships Doubles Silver medal.
Congratulations to Zach on a fantastic performance, winning a Singles bronze and Doubles Silver in the National Championships a year young.