The Malta Independent 20 November 2018, Tuesday

Badminton – Eurosport National c’ship

Malta Independent Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 00:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

Badminton Malta recently organised the 36th Malta National Championships, once again sponsored by EuroSport. More familiarly known as the “Nationals”, these are the major event in Badminton Malta’s seasonal calendar as they bring together all the top local talents in a unique competition of high-level play.

Since the 27th edition held in 1998, the event has been sub-titled as the “Paddy Stubbs Memorial Championships”, in memory of this well-known philanthropist and sports benefactor.

Played at St Martin’s College and at the Cottonera Sports Complex over four days, these Championships comprised the traditional five categories: Men’s Singles and Doubles, Ladies’ Singles and Doubles as well as Mixed Doubles.

Twin brothers Robert and Stefan Salomone contested the Men’s Singles final.

The first set started out as a somewhat balanced affair with several service exchanges and with each player alternately edging the other out only by a single point.

However, with the partial score tied at 8/8, Stefan gradually started to impose his technical superiority on the game, initially drawing ahead 10/8 and then 17/13 before proceeding to wrap up the first set 21/15.

After another balanced start in the second set, Stefan quickly regained his momentum. He initially led his opponent 9/5 and then 18/8 before proceeding to secure the set 21/10, thereby winning his third national Singles title.

Defending champion Joanne Cassar and Rachel Attard made it to the Ladies’ Singles final.

Profiting from the somewhat hesitant approach of her adversary, Cassar quickly took control of the first set. She initially went 8/1 ahead and then continued to score point after valuable point to head the game 14/5.

A late rally saw Attard narrow the margin to 10/15. However, Cassar reacted promptly and proceeded to take the first set 21/12.

The second set was a more balanced affair as Attard, sensing that the final was slipping from her grasp, switched to an all-out attacking mode.

She gradually started to draw ahead over her opponent, initially leading 11/8 at the halfway stage and then 14/10.

However, Cassar was too close to the title to be denied. She slowly but surely clawed her way back into the game, initially levelling the score at 18/18 and then going on to score three consecutive vital points to take the set 21/18. This was Cassar’s tenth national Singles title.

In the other categories, the Men’s Doubles final was won by Robert and Stefan Salomone who defeated Martin Camilleri / Patrick Cassar in two sets: 21/9 - 21/5.

The Ladies’ Doubles final saw defending champions Catherine Dimech / Joanne Cassar retain their title for yet another year after similarly defeating Maria Borg / Fiorella Farrugia in two sets: 21/11 - 21/16.

Catherine Dimech / Kenneth Vella wrested the Mixed Doubles title from holders Joanne Cassar / David Cole at the end of a balanced two-set final which ended 21/16 - 21/17.

Badminton Malta expressed its satisfaction at the high standard of play shown by the numerous participants throughout the Championships while thanking EuroSport, St. Martin’s College and the Cottonera Sports Complex for their valid cooperation in staging this event.

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