Rising star Sam Todd looking to build on British Junior Open success

Sam Todd, right.Sam Todd, right.
Sam Todd, right.
IT may only be a few days after he won the Under-15 title at the Dunlop British Junior Open, but Yorkshire's Sam Todd is already targeting more records at the prestigious event.

Top-seeded Todd, who plays for Pontefract, beat India's Neel Joshi 8-11, 16-14, 11-0, 14-12 in a 37-minute final on the all-glass court at the University of Birmingham, becoming only the second Englishman this century to win two British junior titles following his Under-13 success in 2016.

The 14-year-old follows James Willstrop into the record books after his Pontefract team-mate lifted the Under-17 and Under-19 titles in 2000 and 2002 respectively.

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"I am just so happy," said Todd. "I am now halfway to winning all the age groups and I just want to carry on like James did."

After losing the first, Lee Beachill, his coach on the day and - like Willstrop - a former world No 1, stepped in to put an arm around him and gave some sound advice.

"Lee told me to relax after the first and let the nerves go," added Todd. "He told me to enjoy it and I did. I enjoyed the atmosphere and it's great for the game that there are all these nations now competing for the title."

Todd's victory on Sunday was one of two for England on finals day, following Jonah Bryant's win in the Under-13 event. The last time two Englishmen won titles on the same day was back in 1995.

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One of 620 juniors competing in Birmingham, Todd will now step up to the Under-17 age category at next year's event, which will be held in Birmingham for the next two editions. Next year will mark the 40th year of the long-running tournament.