Omar King of the Khassal:

101 players turned up to play the 2nd London Academy 2 Star. A new Banded format was tried out with the boy’s events. Instead of allocating players into bands from the start, all U15s (and all U18s) were placed into equal mixed ability groups to start with and they then competed for positions in these groups with the top two from each group in the U15s going forward to the Band 1, the third and fourth placed players going into Band 2, the fifth players going into Band 3 and the remaining players going into Band 4. Next there were further groups within the new bands with trophies for the top two players in each band.

U15s Initial Stage:

Top seed Omar Khassal (Mi) from the host club, won Group 1 with ease, with Pavle Svrdlin taking second place. Similarly there were few problems for second seed, Shaquille Webb-Dixon (Sy) in Group 2, with Ethan Ali (Np) the group runner-up. Third & fourth seeds Kester Pardoe (Mi) and Nathan Knowles (Mi) also dispatched all their opponents, with Tendai Davis Smith (Mi) ousting Jake Dale (Mi) for second place in Group 3 and Zaiim Premji (Mi) taking his second place in Group 5. With the withdrawal of the fifth seed, George Mills (Mi) took up the mantle by winning his group with Arman Khan (Mi) just behind him. There were no shocks in Group 6 with Josh Gallen (Bk) winning and Eren Gozcu (Mi) second. Similarly in Group 7 Curtis Welsh (Mi) won out and Kai Ghazi Timms (Mi) was runner-up. In Group 8 Claudiu Andrei (Mi) had an excellent win over Jordan Ingles (He), who came second. In Group 9 the winner and runner-up were Arbi Tola (Mi) and Theo Achampong (Mi) respectively and in Group 10 it was Luke Carter (K) and Shayan Naserbakht (Mi). Chris Clifford (He) and Kidi Martin-Paulo (Mi) were the top two in Group 11 and in Group 12 that honour went to Jay Ghazi-Timms (Mi) and Che Marshall (Mi). Lastly in Group 13 Ben Cawston (Ha) had a very good win over Kareem Bandaogo (Mi). Impressively the host club had as many as 11 players, who made it into Band 1.

U15s Boys Band 1:

Group 1 was was topped by mini-man Clifford, who beat three higher ranked players (Knowles, Ingles & Carter). Carter came second. U11 player Kai Ghazi-Timms is worthy of mention in this group, as he overcame the fourth seed in the fifth set, with some great topspin play from someone so young. Webb-Dixon was the victor in Group 2, but not without having to overcome a tremendous challenge from Bandaogo, eventually winning it 17-15 in the fifth, having trailed two games to love. In Group 3 Cawston continued his rich vein of form, with a massive win over Pardoe, who got second place in the group. In Group 4 the match to watch was Khassal Vs Welsh. It was neck and neck the whole way through, with Welsh belying his lower ranking (594 points below Khassal). Khassal eventually pulled four points clear in the fifth game, to win 14-16, 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7. No surprises in Group 5, with Gallen triumphant and Martin-Paulo second. The five group winners then went into the knockout stage. In the quarter final match Clifford had another unexpected win over Gallen 3-0, but then lost in a close four-game match with no. one seed, Khassal. In the other semi Webb-Dixon ended Cawston’s run in four games. The final went with ranking, with Khassal getting the upper hand 11-7, 13-11, 11-9.

U15s Boys Band 2:

Unranked Siddhant Rawal (Mi) won Group 1 and Ryan Barnett (Mi) was second. Group 2 winner and runner up: Carl Breindel (Hr) and Milan Modha (Np). Group 3: Simran Kumar (Mi) and Dale. Group 4: Bashir Warsame (Mi) and Jamie Rosen (Mi). Group 5: Alfie Little (Mi) and Jonathan Stelzer (Mi). In the quarter final Little defeated Warsame and he went on to beat Kumar 3-0 in the semis. Rawal had a good win over Breindel in the other semi. The final was closely contested, but Rawal ran away with it in the fifth game.

U15s Boys Band 3:

This consisted of two groups of four players and one group of five. Karan Depala (Mi) easily won Group 1 and Connor White (Mi) was second. Benji Zentner won Group 2 at a canter with Callum Donaghey (Mi) second best in the group. Group 3 was the group of five and Shivam Mistry (Np) only dropped two ends from his four matches to emerge the winner. Club mate Kishan Patel was second. The three group winners went into a final group to decide the result of Band 3. Mistry came out on top, but he won both of his matches 11-6 in the fifth game. Depala got the runners-up trophy.

U15s Boys Band 4:

This was a group of six and a group of five. Tejas Patel (Np) won the group of six, but lost five games including scraping over the line 13-11 in the fifth vs club mate Rahul Jethwa, who was 4th in the group. Josh Steiner (Mi) was second. The group of five was won by Jay Chohan (Mi), who again did not have it all his own way. He won two matches 3-1 and two 3-2, including a 14-12 in the fifth win over bottom placed Fahim Ashad (Mi). Unfortunately Chohan left without realising he was in the Band 4 final, so Patel won by default. The good thing was that no-one in Band 4 lost all of their matches.

U18s Boys Initial Stage:

This was split into a group of seven and a group of five (because two players failed to show up). Top seed Mitchell Jones (Mi) of the home club won all six of his matches in Group 1, only losing one game. Abdi Ahmed (Mi) did well to finish second with five wins despite only being ranked fifth in the group. Micah Salmon (Mi) was third. In Group 2 second seed, Charlie Austen (Mi) also of London Academy was undefeated with only one end conceded. Rijul Roychoudhury (E) took the second spot and Musa Sharif-Ali (Mi) was third.

U18s Boys Band 1:

The top three from each group then progressed to Band 1, where they played a further three matches Vs the top three from the other group. The top two seeds were untroubled until they met each other in the final match of the competition and what an absolute cracker it turned out to be. In an excellent display of quality table tennis, both boys matched each other for speed and spin with rallies galore. Unfortunately there could only be one winner and despite Jones taking a two game lead and leading 10-6 in the third game, he was unable to finish it off and Austen took advantage and recovered to win 11-9 in the fifth!

U18s Boys Band 2:

Jamie Fisher (He) won this band with a maximum of five wins. Jamie Didnum (Mi) was the runner-up with four wins. All the wins by these two players were 3-0.

U18s Girls Band 1:

This was a group of 7 players. Second seed Sayeeda Miah (Mi) played her first two matches and lost to two lower ranked players and then pulled out ill. Amazingly the fifth ranked player, Qianrui “Maria” Wang (Mi) won all of her matches including Vs Miah. She even beat top seed Hiba Feredj (Mi) of London Academy TTC 3-0! In fact having lost the first end to Miah, she didn’t drop another end all day. Feredj took second place, winning her remaining matches in straight games. Samantha Lai (Mi-the other player to be Miah) came third.

U18s Girls Band 2:

Due to withdrawals, this was a group of just six players all from Middlesex. The top two seeds Juliette Moussarie and Rhoda Boadu had things very much their own way against all of their other opponents, not dropping any games at all between them. When they faced each other in their final match it was the lower ranked Boadu, who dominated 11-8, 13-11, 11-3. Third seed, Anisha Rasan duly came third winning her remaining matches 3-0.

Final Positions:
U15 Boys Band 1:
1) Omar Khassal (Mi)
2) Shaquille Webb-Dixon (Sy)
=3) Chris Clifford (He)
=3) Ben Cawston (Ha)
5) Josh Gallen (Bk)
=6) Kester Pardoe (Mi)
=6) Curtis Welsh (Mi)
=6) Luke Carter (K)
=6) Kareem Bandaogo (Mi)
=6) Kidi Martin-Paulo (Mi)
=11) Jordan Ingles (He)
=11) Arbi Tola (Mi)
=11) Claudiu Andrei (Mi)
=11) Zaiim Premji (Mi)
=11) George Mills (Mi)
=16) Che Marshall (Mi)
=16) Eren Gozcu (Mi)
=16) Pavle Svrdlin (Mi)
=16) Theo Achampong (Mi)
=16) Ethan Ali (Np)
=21) Kai Ghazi-Timms (Mi)
=21) Jay Ghazi-Timms (Mi)
=21) Shayan Naserbakht (Mi)
=21) Arman Khan (Mi)
=21) Tendai Davis-Smith (Mi)
26) Nathan Knowles (Mi)

U15s Boys Band 2:
1) Siddhant Rawal (Mi)
2) Alfie Little (Mi)
=3) Carl Breindel (Hr)
=3) Simran Kumar (Mi)
5) Bashir Warsame (Mi)
=6) Ryan Barnett (Mi)
=6) Milan Modha (Np)
=6) Jake Dale (Mi)
=6) Jamie Rosen (Mi)
=6) Jonathan Stelzer (Mi)
=11) Raffi Chowdhury (Mi)
=11) Kotaro Lam (Mi)
=11) Rayan Aitsilarbi (Mi)
=11) Ismail Assoufi (Mi)
=11) Ryan Enstone (Mi)
=16) Hiren Tanna (Mi)
=16) Murhad Hussain (Mi)
=16) John Dignum (Mi)
=16) Kazi Mahe (Mi)
=16) Mihir Mistry (Np)
=21) Milan Pandya (Np)
=21) David Dudek (Mi)
=21) Edward Sonin (Mi)
=21) Chiraag Modha (Np)
=21) Nathan Enstone (Mi)
26) Usamah Benallal (Mi)

U15s Boys Band 3:
1) Shivam Mistry (Np)
2) Kavan Depala (Mi)
3) Benji Zentner (Mi)
=4) Connor White (Mi)
=4) Callum Donaghey (Mi)
=4) Kishan Patel (Np)
=7) Bilaal Mohammed (Mi)
=7) Mohamed Assoufi (Mi)
=7 Rishan Patel (Np)
=10) Shahad Hussain (E)
=10) Jaimish Patel (Np)
=10) Kishan Mistry (Np)
13) Viral Patel (Np)

U15s Boys Band 4:
1) Tejas Patel (Np)
2) Jay Chohan (Mi)
=3) Josh Steiner (Mi)
=3) Askor Ali (Mi)
=5) Mehdi Aitsilarbi (Mi)
=5) Shahan Rahman (Mi)
=7) Rahul Jethwa (Np)
=7) David Wigley (Mi)
=9) Morgan Miles (E)
=9) Fahim Ashad (Mi)
11) Thomas Vaso (Mi)

U18s Boys Band 1:
1) Charlie Austen (Mi)
2) Mitchell Jones (Mi)
3) Rijul Roychoudhury (Mi)
4) Abdi Ahmed (Mi)
5) Musa Sharif-Ali (Mi)
6) Micah Salmon (Mi)

U18s Boys Band 2:
1) Jamie Fisher (He)
2) Jamie Dignum (Mi)
3) Alix Bell (Mi)
4) Didar Ahmed (Mi)
5) Adam Harris (Mi)
6) Shyam Bavalia (Mi)

U18s Girls Band 1:
1) Qianrui Wang (Mi)
2) Hiba Feredj (Mi)
3) Samantha Lai (Mi)
4) Jess Jarvis (He)
5) Rhiannon Evans (Nk)
6) Talia Banin-Reid (Mi)
7) Sayeeda Miah (Mi) (Withdrawn)

U18s Girls Band 2:
1) Rhoda Boadu (Mi)
2) Juliette Moussarie (Mi)
3) Anisha Rasan (Mi)
4) Catherine Maltby (Mi)
5) Nabilah Rifat (Mi)
6) Lasairiona O’Barold (Mi)

Rory Scott