The youngest of our national champions have been talking about how they feel to get on the top step of the podium at the PG Mutual U10-U13 National Championships.
A total of 10 youngsters won at least one gold at the event in Wolverhampton, including twins Anna and Connor Green, who continued a family winning streak, and Amy Marriott, who won after losing in two previous finals.
See below what they had to say about their achievements.
All pictures by Michael Loveder – click here to see more on our Flickr page
Gold, Under-13 Girls’ Singles
I’m very happy. I’ve been training and working hard and it’s definitely the best result I’ve had in table tennis. I’ve lost in two finals, so it’s third time lucky.
I was confident but nervous at the same time because this year I was first seed, so I had a bit of pressure.
Gold, Under-13 Boy’s Singles; Gold, Under-13 Boys’ Doubles
I had to keep my focus up because I was No 1 seed for both events and that was quite mentally tiring.
This is a lot better than winning the under-12s last year because everyone has improved and you have to keep your head in the game because every single point matters.
Gold, Under-12 Girls’ Singles; Silver, Under-13 Girls’ Doubles; Bronze, Under-13 Girls’ Singles
I was so excited when I won the Under-12s – I didn’t want to be the one to break the streak me and Connor are having.
This feels better than last year because it means we’ve done it again, which makes it more ‘wow’. It was also kind of bitter-sweet because Isabelle Lacorte who I beat in the final is my best friend in table tennis.
Gold, Under-12 Boys’ Singles; Gold, Under-13 Boys’ Doubles
In the singles, it’s more special than last year because it’s my third time in a row. Me and Anna always support each other because we want each other to do well and we are from the same club too, but when you are playing, you are focusing on your matches and trying to do your best.
I found the doubles really good – me and Poww (Naphong Boonyaprapa) work well together.
Gold, Under-11 Girls’ Singles; bronze, Under-12 Girls’ Singles
I feel happy because last time I played her (Bethany Ellis) she beat me 3-2. I’ve been training five times a week and I was hoping to win the gold but I was a bit nervous at the beginning.
Gold, Under-11 Boys’ Singles; Silver, Under-12 Boys’ Singles; Silver, Under-13 Boys’ Singles
I had James Smith (England Youth Squad player) as my coach so I was a bit more relaxed and not so nervous because he’s a friend from school. It’s my best tournament. I had to play 16 matches on the Saturday and that was very tiring, so overall I think I did better than I expected.
Gold, Under-10 Girls’ Singles
I feel really good. I tried not to be nervous and get the ball on the table and not rush. The last match was the hardest one because I lost a set and I was 8-2 down in the second set.
Gold, Under-10 Boys’ Singles
It was a lot of pressure on me because everyone was expecting me to win it because I was No 1. That last point when I won felt amazing, I was thrilled to have the trophy. Then when I was standing on the podium, that felt amazing too.
Gold, Under-13 Girls’ Doubles; Silver, Under-13 Girls’ Singles
I’m over the moon, I wasn’t expecting to come away with a medal.
In the singles, I was eighth seed so I was expecting to get through my group and then lose to one of the higher seeds, but I finished second. In the semi-final against Lauren, when I was 2-0 down I lost my hope and thought I couldn’t win, but I just kept playing.
We played very well in the doubles – it’s definitely the best event I’ve won.
Gold, Under-13 Girls’ Doubles; Bronze, Under-13 Girls’ Singles
Scarlett knocked me out in the singles but I forgave her before the doubles final!
It’s amazing, I’m overwhelmed. This is my first major trophy and the best thing I’ve achieved. We’ve only played together at one tournament before and we were a bit nervous but we did our best.