Spotswood United player Tane Leong won the Taranaki under- 19 boys' singles badminton title for a fourth consecutive year last Saturday.
The 17-year-old, who first won the title as a 14-year-old in 2009, beat Alex Patterson, 18, of Stratford, in straight sets 21-6, 21-10 at the Star Gymnasium.
Promising Spotswood United newcomer Opal Lerdsinkriengkrai, 15, a Thai international student who only arrived in New Plymouth last term, won the under-19 girls' singles title at the Taranaki junior championships, beating Inglewood's Grace Campbell 11-21, 21-19, 21-11.
"This is only my second competition. I played [in Thailand] but not in competition. My first time was for school against Palmerston North," the New Plymouth Girls' High School student said.
The under-15 boys' competition was fought out between Spotswood United clubmates Calum Sutherland and Sam Evans, with Sutherland the victor in two sets 21-14, 21-17.
Sport Taranaki badminton development officer Andrew Marfell said an under-15 girls' event was scrapped because of a lack of entrants.
'That's the age group that always struggles with kids pulling out of sport, but we've had a really good turnout for the under-13s,' he said.
Spotswood United made it a clean sweep in the boys' events with Nick Holt beating Reece Taylor, of Hawera, in three sets 21-13, 17-21, 21-17 to win the under-13 boys' title.
Hawera's Taya Clement held out Spotswood United's Mary Grace Rosal to win a closely- fought three-set battle for the under-13 girls' singles title - 21-23, 21-19, 21-18.
Marfell said the Taranaki under-17 competition was held in July as part of a North Island circuit event that attracted mainly out of the region entrants.
Thai student Pun Thepkunhanimit, 15, of Spotswood United, won the boys' singles, while the girls' title went to Rayna Phillips, from North Harbour.
Taranaki Badminton Association junior co-ordinator Pam Frederickson said she was pleased with the turnout and level of competition for this year's Taranaki championships.
He encouraged more people to join the sport.
'We are always looking for more players, it's a great sport in a friendly environment,' she said.
* Gill Evans is a Witt Journalism student.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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