Declan James (pic le) and Emily Whitlock (pic ri) celebrated an English double in the U19 finals of the Pioneer Junior Open in Cologne. James, the 18-year-old favourite, comfortably reached the men’s final without dropping a game – while his Belgium opponent Tom de Mulder conceded one game in the quarter-finals against German U19 Champion Valentin Rapp. In the final James dispatched De Mulder 11-3, 11-8, 11-9. With the English, French and European Junior titles to her credit already this year, Emily Whitlock came to Cologne as firm favourite for the women’s Pioneer trophy. The 17-year-old did not disappoint – romping through to the final after the loss of just 32 points in 4 rounds. But her opponent Maria Elena Ubina had battled through to the climax unseeded, after stunning upsets over the 6th and 7th seeds – and England’s No2 seed Brogan Lane in the quarter-finals. Whitlock was too strong for Ubina in the final, beating the 16-year-old 11-6, 11-4, 11-5.
James and Emily Whitlock celebrate English Pioneer double!