Marlborough's rising badminton star Joseph Timms was devastated to miss out on New Zealand selection after trialling in Auckland and North Harbour last week.
As a result, he and Canterbury mixed doubles partner Marcia Ho made an emphatic statement by reaching the final of an international junior tournament in Hamilton at the weekend.
Timms was up against 50 of the top New Zealanders and Australians, plus a couple of Malaysian players, and contested singles, mixed doubles and doubles. First up in the mixed competition was New Zealand's Fredrik Stapleton and Maysell Downey, but Timms and Ho made light work of them with a 21-14 21-14 victory.
Next came the big test against New Zealand No1 seeds Kerwyn Lee and Lillian Shih. Timms was in fine form, making several diving shot saves as he and Ho prevailed 18-21 21-17 21-18.
They met Australian No2 seeds Athithan Sellandurai and Jennifer Tam next and made short work of that, prevailing 21-19 21-15. This was followed by a nailbiting win against the highly rated New Zealand pair of Elliot Pike and Felicity Leydon, but Timms and Ho got through 16-21 26-24 22-20.
The final mixed game had the Kiwi combination up against Aussies Sawan Serasinghe and Gronya Somerville. It was a thriller, with huge rallies. However the Australian pair took it out 21-18 21-15, with Timms saying a couple of mistakes at the wrong time cost him and Ho dearly.
Timms also got through to the top eight in the singles, one of only three New Zealanders to do so. His results helped him gain selection for the Wellington senior rep team at the Wisden Cup in Hamilton.
He is in action this weekend at the Marlborough Open Championships at Stadium 2000 in Blenheim.
- The Marlborough Express