Mark Royal and Katherine Rednall win Champion of Champions titles

Talk about a Suffolk punch – Mark Royal and Katherine Rednall delivered the old ‘one-two’ for the county in the national Champion of Champions singles championships at Warners Lakeside in Hayling Island at the weekend.

While it was no surprise that Royal should lift the men’s title, Rednall’s success breaks all records, because she celebrated her 16th birthday only last month – and is the youngest-ever winner of this national title.

“I can’t believe it,” said Stowmarket High School pupil Katherine, after beating Carol Crafer of Chigwell, 21-16, Cumbria’s Janice Gower, 21-16, and Spalding’s Annalisa Bellamy, 21-15, on her way to the final.

She crowned an incredible weekend when she downed Commonweatlh pairs gold medallist Ellen Falkner, and took the title.

“I owe it all to my dad,” she added, referring to the coaching and encouragement she has received from her father John Rednall, who has been one of England’s most consistent performers over the past 20 years.

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“He always helps me, like recently when I was struggling with my foot placing, and he took me down to the green and sorted me out,” she added.

Rednall is certainly enjoying a fantastic season, having been runner-up in the national under-25 singles the weekend before, and being still in the hunt for national honours in mixed pairs and fours, and women’s fours and singles.

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“It was level in the final until about 5-5, but I surged ahead to 19-7, before Ellen, who’s a legend, shortened the jack, and pulled back into the game – so I was glad to get home, 21-13,” smiled Rednall.

Royal, who launches his defence of the Welsh Grand Prix title in Llanelli today, defeated Norfolk’s rising star Jamie Chestney, 21-17, Nick Brett, 21-10, and former national outdoor champion Steve Mitchinson, also 21-10, on his way to the final.

Facing relatively unknown Weymouth player Dave Smith, he clinched the title with an imperious 21-6 victory.

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