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Dominant Stefan Salomone keeps hold of triple crown

Badminton Malta recently organised the 40th National Championships which were played at the Cottonera Sports Complex with the main finals staged at St Martin’s College, Swatar.

Due to the large number of participants, the men’s singles started with a preliminary phase.

This was won by Samuel Cali who beat Ivan Salomone 21-11, 21-15 in the final.

Stefan Salomone, the defending champion, made it once again to the final where he faced Kenneth Vella. In previous rounds, Salomone accounted for Edmond Abela and Aldo Polidano and Vella had beaten Stephen Ferrante and David Cole.

The final was a one-sided affair as Salomone was in control from start to finish.

In the first set, he was already 11-3 ahead at the halfway stage, before proceeding to wrap up the set 21-5. The second set seemed to start in a more balanced fashion but Salomone gradually surged ahead to seal it 21-10 and, with it, the singles title.

Maria Borg and Fiorella Farrugia, last year’s finalists, again made it to the final of the women’s singles.

Borg eliminated Maria Attard and Catriona Francica while Farrugia ousted Dominique Francica and Marica Micallef.

The final was a balanced three-set affair. In the first set, both players were head-to-head and tied at 15-15, before Borg scored six consecutive points to clinch the set.

The second set was played on the same lines as the first but it was Farrugia who pulled ahead to take the set 21-18 and put the match on an even keel.

The decisive third set initially seemed to follow the same blueprint, with the score reading 10-10.

However, as Farrugia faltered, it was Borg who went ahead to take the set 21-10 and retain her title.

The national doubles title was won by Stefan Salomone/Aldo Polidano at the end of a keen three-setter in which they beat Kenneth Vella/ David Cole 21-18 11-21, 21-16.

Stefan Salomone and Fiorella Farrugia retained the mixed doubles title.

They won the respective final 21-19 21-9 against Kenneth Vella and Catherine Dimech.

Maria Borg and Fiorella Farrugia retained the doubles title.

By winning three national titles, Salomone retained the platonic ‘Triple Crown’ which he had won in 2010.

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