Shayam Siraj is youngest winner of Bradford Closed Championships aged 12

Siraj is youngest winner of Bradford Closed Championships aged 12

Siraj is youngest winner of Bradford Closed Championships aged 12

First published in Sport by , Table tennis correspondent

The precocious talent of 12-year-old Shayam Siraj emerged from a stern test of his mental and physical abilities to become the youngest men's singles winner at the Bradford Closed Championships last weekend.

There were several candidates for the title, with defending champion Mark Land and the Police trio of Tim Dyson, Shahriar Masoudi and John Chew among the favourites.

Dyson knocked out his clubmate Chew but then fell to Siraj in four games, while Land was surprisingly beaten by Deo Jones, who was in great form.

The semi-final between Jones and Siraj was the match of the day, with several powerful counter- attacking rallies.

Jones looked set for the final when he led 2-1 but Siraj took the fourth game and led 8-6 in the decider.

Jones hit back to lead 10-9 and had two more match points but the youngster held him off to win 16-14 and set up a final meeting with his coach Masoudi.

There Siraj took the first two games but scored only nine points in losing the next two, and Masoudi looked to have the upper hand, but once again the youngster responded by forging ahead at the start of the final game to take the crown.

Championship resultsMen's singles semi-finals: S Siraj bt D Jones 11-5, 5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 16-14' S Masoudi bt P Bell 11-6, 11-3, 11-8. Final: Siraj bt Masoudi 11-8, 13-11, 3-11, 6-11, 11-6. Veterans' final: T Dyson bt M Land 12-10, 11-9, 11-3. Women’s singles final: L Sanderson bt K Manogue 11-2, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6. Handicap final: P Bell (9) bt S Hussain (35) 44-42. Consolation final: P Holbrook bt T McKrieth 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 12-10. Doubles final: T Dyson & S Masoudi bt M Land & I Lewis 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-1, 11-6.

Bradford LeagueDivision One: Unity B 0, Police 10; Highdale A 5, Unity A 5. Division Two: Pudsey A 10, Highdale C 0; Yeadon B 4, Hermits B 6; Unity D 6, Yeadon A 4. Division Three: Fastbats C 3, Baildon A 7. Division Four: Hermits F 4, Pudsey B 6; Rastrick 5, Laisterdyke B 5; Hermits G 8, Laisterdyke C 2. Division Five: Hermits I 10, Hermits L 0; Thornbury 6, Baildon C 4; Fastbats E 6, Hermits K 4; Baildon D 2, Unity F 8.

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