Muswell Hill athlete Joseph Hunter crowned national champion
- Credit: Alan Man
Muswell Hill’s Joseph Hunter won his first national title, lifting the Cadet Boys’ Singles at the Mark Bates Ltd Cadet & Junior National Championships.
The 15-year-old, who is a member of the England junior set-up, was originally seeded sixth for the event, but was elevated to No 3 seed when higher-ranked players had to self-isolate.
Starting in the round of 16, he advanced to the final without dropping a set, and faced unseeded Aaron Yuk Shing Gueng from Kilburn in the final.
His opponent picked up eye-catching results and proved he could not be taken lightly as he took a 2-1 lead in the final.
But Hunter stepped it up when it really mattered and came back to seal a memorable 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 13-15, 11-4, 11-7) victory.
The Alexandra Park School student said: “I was aiming to get at least a silver but I ended up getting the gold and obviously it feels really good to win my first Nationals.
“It was a really tough final. I just tried to reset my head a bit during the match after I’d lost a few points – I tried to keep it up and stay positive.”
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In the older junior (under-19) event, Hunter made it through the group stage but was drawn against eventual champion Maxim Stevens from Nottingham in the round of 16 and was beaten 3-1 (11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 11-5).