Year 9 student, Zak-Ray Linley-Moss, has continued his meteoric rise through the ranks of U15s badminton leagues.
The talented player travelled to the University of Nottingham on 9 December to take part in Badminton England’s Under 15 Gold Tournament. The invitation-only event sees the top ranked players in the country coming together in a series of tournaments held across the year.
Qualifying for the singles, doubles and mixed doubles categories, Zak-Ray teamed up with regular partner, Megan Brierley, for the first tournament of the weekend; the mixed doubles.
The pair fought through to the second round, beating England players and number two seeds in the tournament before facing the number one seeds and top mixed doubles players in the country. After some stiff competition in the early rounds, Zak-Ray and Megan saw off their opponents in two straight games, claiming a gold medal having beaten them 21-15 and 21-18.
Having lost regular doubles partner, Charlie Castle, through injury, Zak-Ray formed a scratch partnership with Vidun Wedagadera, reaching all the way to the semi-finals before being beaten in two straight games with a score of 19-21 and 18-21.
In the singles tournament, Zak-Ray faced huge opposition throughout the rounds, facing England player, Ethan Hoskin in round one. Having beaten him in two straight games, Zak-Ray moved on through the competition, reaching the finals on Sunday 10 December against Prithvi Sekar. In a tight game, Zak-Ray saw off the competition to secure a gold medal, winning once again in two straight games with a score of 21-17 21-17.
“It was an experience to remember.” Explained Zak: “These wins have opened a lot of doors for me in the future of my game; for example, guaranteed entries for the nationals, higher seed ranking and more partnership opportunities. To think that last year I was playing in an Under 14 Bronze tournament and have come all this way is simply an amazing feeling.”
Teacher of Physical Education, Ian Patchett, was pleased for the young player: “Zak-Ray has shown such talent in his badminton. His rise through the ranks is testament to what a phenomenal player he is and we are sure that he will continue to succeed and grow in his game. We were thrilled to hear that an England coach was there to watch the tournament…..so watch this space!”