Cathy triumphs in international competition

Badminton talent Cathy Bargh produced a superb performance to triumph at an international competition.

Cathy Bargh with her women's over-55 singles gold medal at the All England Seniors Open Badminton Championships.
Cathy Bargh with her women's over-55 singles gold medal at the All England Seniors Open Badminton Championships.

The Sedlescombe-based player won the over-55 women’s singles at the 102nd All England Seniors Open Championships in Hatfield last Friday.

Bargh won all four of her matches in the round-robin competition, including a pair of come-from-behind three-set victories over top class opponents from Denmark and Holland.

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Seeded two, Bargh - who had won the tournament twice before but never in this age group - began by defeating English players Kay Armer and Susan Tooke 21-9, 21-12 and 21-14, 21-11.

She then edged out Dutch player Jeannette van der Werff - a multiple European Championship medallist - 14-21, 21-17, 21-17 before overcoming her nemesis Lone Knudsen - a former world champion from Denmark - 13-21, 21-17, 21-19.

Bargh said: “I’ve beaten them both previously, but not recently. I was just primed and ready to go. If you can have a super moment, that was a super moment for me - and a cherished moment to end the season on a huge high.”

Not content with just singles success, Bargh teamed up with Viv Gillard to reach the semi-finals of the over-55 women’s doubles on Saturday.

They started off by winning their three-team initial group, beating Birte Bach (Denmark) and Maureen Kleijwegt-Oskam (Netherlands) 21-16, 14-21, 21-16 and the English pairing of Sue Coulson and Pauline Williams 21-12, 21-14.

Bargh and Gillard were edged out 21-14, 17-21, 11-21 by Danish top seeds and eventual champions Helle Buch and Knudsen.

Bargh said key to her success was the competitive sharpness gained from playing for the Sussex second team at national league level. She has a 100% record in that competition this season, despite frequently coming up against much younger opponents.

“You’ve got to learn to compete and I think I thrive on continuous competition - and I get that,” she added. “I was able to get some good, tough grounding in different competitions and I think that gave me the edge.”

Bargh won the over-55 women’s singles and women’s doubles at the 23rd English National Masters Championship 2017 in December, and before that the ladies’ singles at the Sussex Restricted Championships.

She has also enjoyed tremendous success for Sussex at age group level this season and is looking forward to playing in the European Senior Championships in Spain during September.

Bargh is a professional badminton coach at Summerfields Leisure Centre and wished to thank Freedom Leisure for all its support.

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