Preston’s Chloe Birch admitted it was a job well done after progressing to the quarter-finals of the English National Badminton Championships in Manchester.
The 17-year-old may have been eliminated at the last eight-stage of the women’s singles at the hands of No.4 seed Panuga Riou but Birch was far from dejected with her showing.
Birch, who bowed out of the competition 21-17 21-13, said she was frustrated at failing to utilise her speed around the court during her quarter-final loss.
However, the experience gained in playing the highly-rated Riou can only benefit her going forward.
“It was good to get that far to the quarter-finals – I’ve it done for the last three years now,” she said.
“I’m still only 17, so I’m happy to get there but I did go out to win and unfortunately, it wasn’t my day.
“I wasn’t as quick as I feel as I usually am, and I didn’t use my speed as a weapon, which is what hurts a lot of people.
“Panuga played well, to be fair to her, and it means I get more experience. She’s a full-time player and has been for quite a while, and I’m still at school, so it’s hard to get the amount of practice time she does.
I played alright, but I could have played better, and she was better on the day.
“It is disappointing – I do feel I didn’t so as well as I could have, but there’s not a lot you can do.”
Birch also made it to the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles alongside Samantha Ward but bowed out to Alex Langley and Jenny Wallwork.
The Preston teenager, who struggled with a knee injury during her Manchester appearance, refused to blame her premature exit on anything other than coming up against more experienced opposition.
“My knee is okay – battered and bruised but I’ll survive,” she added. “I think I’ve had a successful tournament still.
“I’m happy with how it went, but I still think in some of the quarter-finals I could have played better, but that’s the way it goes – good days and bad days.
“In the singles and doubles, they were up for their games and I think a bit of intimidation from them put a bit of pressure on us and we didn’t play as well, but if they play better, they play better.
“To close that gap, I need more hours on the court. Obviously I’m still a junior but I’m trying to get into the seniors more as this is where I’m going to be playing my badminton.
“I need to be more experienced – these guys have been playing internationals for the last few years. I need to learn from the games I have played.”
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