RISING badminton star Natalie Chan-Lam has boosted her growing reputation with two victories in the Badminton England Essex Under-17 Gold tournament.
The Sheffield High School pupil travelled to Harlow and returned to the Steel City after winning both the Girls Star Singles and the Girls Doubles tournaments.
In the singles, Natalie won both her group matches before beating Alannah Stephenson (Ulster) 21-14, 21-18 in the semi-finals and Zoe Hallam (Staffs) 21-7, 21-10 in the final.
In their girls doubles match, Natalie teamed up with Cheshire’s Jenny Moore and beat Ira Bannerjee (Hants) and Jessica Pugh (Shropshire) 18-21, 21-15, 21-15 in a thrilling final.
However she missed out on a hat-trick of wins when she and Warwickshire’s Sam Parsons lost out in the semi-finals of the mixed doubles.
Natalie also tasted glory for her country at the European Under 17 Team and Individual Championships in Caldas de Rainha, Portugal, where she was part of the Team England which claimed a well-deserved silver medal.
The England squad made light work of their early group games, dropping just one game from 30 during routine victories over Romania, Cyprus and the Czech Republic, before beating sixth-seeded France 3-1 in the quarter-finals. Fourth-seeded England then produced one of the shocks of the competition by beating second-seeds Russia 3-0 in the semi-final, but in the final against Denmark Natalie narrowly lost 21-15, 11-21, 18-21 to Julie Finne-Ipsen.
England then lost the men’s and women’s doubles to give Denmark a 3-1 victory. Also part of the England team was Chloe Birch, of Stocksbridge, who reached the quarter-finals of the individual events before being knocked out.
Chloe and Natalie lost in the quarter-finals of the ladies doubles, and Natalie and Parsons again teamed up but were knocked out at a similar stage to the eventual winners.