Northern Territory youngster Owen Short was walking on cloud nine last night after earning a sport in the gold medal match of the blue-ribbon singles Northern Territory youngster Owen Short was walking on cloud nine last night after earning a sport in the gold medal match of the blue-ribbon singles at the 2013 Australian Under-18 Championships in Sorrento, WA.
Short, 17, wasn’t alive when the tournament was first staged 25 years ago in 1988, but the young-gun is now faces the herculean task of becoming the first Top Ender to claim a gold medal, not only in the singles competition but within any discipline of the tournament, when he confronts Queensland’s undefeated Braiden Leese in the final this afternoon.
The finals berth almost wasn’t to be for the Northern Territory State Singles runner-up after he failed to find the winner’s board in the opening rubber on Monday, losing by a slender 1 shot to promising up-and-coming ACT junior Trent Britton, but comfortable victories in his further two matches earned him a place in today’s decider by a two shot margin over NSW ace Dylan Skinner.
Victoria now look certain to enjoy a gold rush at the championships after booking their place in a further two gold medal play-off matches to add to the four spots they secured yesterday morning, with the Big V’s undefeated Jayeden Christie, Jay Bye-Norris, Nathan Lynch and Joshua Corless up against the Blues’ Jono Davis, Greg Jeans, Luke Jones and Corey Wedlock in the boys’ fours, while the two states will also go toe-to-toe in the girls’ pairs with NSW’s unblemished Dawn Hayman and Jamie-Lee Worsnop set to square off against Victoria’s Cody Sylvester an Chloe Stewart; who takes to the green this morning for the chance to claim her first gold in the singles discipline.
In girls’ triples, Jacqui Bowman, Hayley Woolfitt and Lynsey Trenorden are tasked with South Australia’s sole chance at a gold rush after locking away their place with two wins and a draw from their sectional encounters, but will face NSW’s highly fancied Samantha Noronha, Ellen Ryan and Natalie Noronah.
Victoria lead the pack with six chances to clinch gold today, NSW are in a comfortable position with five, hometown heroes Western Australia have two opportunities, Northern Territory have one chance to earn their inaugural gold medal, while South Australia and Queensland also have one chance at glory.
Click here for full results from the 2013 Australian Under-18 Championships.