Competitors at the JPF Individual Finals. Picture courtesy of Mark Lees

James Smith made it a hat-trick as he lifted a title at the Jack Petchey London Schools’ Table Tennis Finals for the third year in a row.

Jack Petchey CBE himself was there to watch as youngsters from across London, who had battled through qualifying, met to decide the overall winners.

James won the under-13 boys’ event at the University of East London’s SportsDock arena, beating his school-mate from the Royal Russell School, Reiss Vydelingum, 3-0 in the final.

The youngster said of his win: “I think it was a bit easier this year because I’m older and last year I was playing more people older than me.

“It’s a really good event, it’s really well run and means all the top people in London get to play against each other.”

James was joined in the winners’ hall of fame by seven other youngsters who claimed boys and girls’ titles at under-11, under-13, under-16 and under-19 levels.

Among them was Federica Bonato Tazartes of St Paul’s Girls’ School, who won the under-13 girls’ event by beating Anna Raymakers (Graveney) 3-0, who herself had come from 2-0 down in her semi-final to beat Mya Sultan of Capital City Academy 3-2.

Federica said: “It feels great – it’s the first time I’ve come first in a singles event.

“It’s a really good competition and it brings everyone together and is fun, and the venue is really good.”

The under-11 titles were won by Kai Ghazi-Timms of St Mary Magdalene Academy – beating Mahmood Kelani of Torridon Junior School – and Amelia Chan of Walker Primary School, who beat Lois Perryman of Eastcote.

Amelia said: “I’m quite happy and proud of myself. I think it’s good to get to play other people and better players.”

The under-16 girls’ title went to Isabelle Joubeily (Wallington High School for Girls), though the 3-0 margin of victory hides a close tussle against Capital City Academy’s Sarah Menghistab, who pushed her in every set, particularly the last, which Joubeily took 19-17.

The under-16 boys’ title went to Eren Gozcu of London Academy in the closest final of the day, prevailing 11-8 in the final set against Curtis Welsh of Capital City Academy.

Eren said: “I’m proud I won because I wasn’t really expecting to win it. I beat the No 1 seed (Jack Josephs) in the semi-finals and I beat Curtis in the group as well, it was a really good day.”

The under-19 boys’ winner, Mitchell Jones of Harefield Academy, had some advice for all players after defeating Dulwich College’s Anthony Ki in the final.

The 16-year-old, who had won a consolation event in previous years but never the main event, said: “It shows if you fail, carry on trying. I’m quite excited and really happy that I won.

“I tried to play as professionally as possible and hopefully I can come back next year and win it again.”

The under-19 girls’ event was a round-robin competition, in which Anna Navicka (Goulsdon Sixth Form) and Jessica Monis (St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College) each won three matches.

However, Navicka took the title by virtue of beating Monis 3-2 in their meeting.

Trudy Kilcullen, CEO of the Jack Petchey Foundation told competitors at the presentation ceremony: “Hundreds of young people across London have competed to this point, so you are the cream of the cream today and should be really proud of yourselves that you have come this far.

“We are proud of your energy, your enthusiasm, the quality play and the way you have supported each other.”

Table Tennis England CEO Sara Sutcliffe said: “The standard of play continues to improve year on year, and that’s fantastic for us to see.

“Thanks to the Jack Petchey Foundation for their continued support of this programme.”

Final results

Under-11 boys: Kai Ghazi-Timms bt Mahmood Kelani 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-8)
Under-11 girls: Amelia Chan bt Lois Perryman 3-0 (11-7, 12-10, 11-9)
Under-13 boys: James Smith bt Reiss Vydelingum 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-9)
Under-13 girls: Federica Bonato Tazartes bt Anna Raymakers 3-0 (11-3, 11-4, 11-8)
Under-16 boys: Eren Gozcu bt Curtis Welsh 3-2 (11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8)
Under-16 girls: Isabelle Joubeily bt Sarah Menghistab 3-0 (12-10, 11-7, 19-17)
Under-19 boys: Mitchell Jones bt Anthony Ki 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-4)
Under-19 girls: Anna Navicka bt Jessica Monis (3 wins rr)