Ace Cathy wins European silver medal

Cathy Bargh at the European Senior Badminton Championships
Cathy Bargh at the European Senior Badminton Championships

Cathy Bargh won a silver medal at the European Seniors Badminton Championships.

The Sedlescombe-based talent was the runner-up in the over-55 women’s singles at an event played in the Spanish city of Guadalajara.

She said: “I felt dominant throughout the whole tournament. I felt aggressive and my fitness pays off every single time. My preparation is always bang on, and I know that I can pull it off when the chips are down and I’m up against it.”

See also: * Cathy triumphs in international competition
* Cathy scoops national title double
* Cathy scoops medal double at Euro event

Bargh won four matches to reach the final, where she was narrowly beaten in a deciding set by top seed Svetlana Zilberman, who had cruised through to that stage without dropping a set.

One of the two 3/4 seeds, Bargh had a first round bye before comfortably overcoming Hilda Martinez (Spain) 21-6, 21-5 in round two and Ritva Turkia (Finland) 21-5, 21-12 in round three.

She then came through a close quarter-final against one of the 5/8 seeds, Maren Schroder (Germany), 21-17, 21-18 before her old adversary, second seed Lone Knudsen (Denmark), retired from their semi-final after just six points with a knee injury.

Bargh put up a fantastic fight in a gruelling final against Israeli ace Zilberman which contained lots of long and fast rallies. She edged the opening set 22-20 and was 18-15 up in the second before narrowly losing that set 21-18 and then the third 21-16.

Zilberman - who Bargh had never played before - is an ex-full time Russian player in the lower age groups, she coaches the Israel team and her son is an Olympian.

“I played out of my skin,” continued Bargh. “I played the right game, for the final in particular.”

What’s more, Bargh reached the quarter-finals of the over-55 women’s doubles alongside compatriot Viv Gillard.

One of the two 3/4 seeds, they received a first round bye before seeing off the French pair of Romy Mouglalis and Marie-Laure Walther 21-6, 21-4 in round two.

Bargh and Gillard overcame Polish pair Ewa Golanska and Anna Sadowska 21-8, 22-20 before being edged out by one of the 5/8 seeds, Irish duo Pam Peard and Sian Williams, 17-21, 20-22.

She also played in the over-55 mixed doubles alongside Paul Chard.

After a first round bye, they got the better of French duo Eric Hillairet and Gisele Deplancke 21-17, 21-7 in round two but were beaten 21-14, 21-19 by one of the 3/4 seeds, Klaus Buschbeck and Heidi Bender (Germany), in round three.

Bargh is no stranger to success at the European Senior Championships. She won gold in the over-50 women’s doubles and bronze in the over-50 women’s singles two years ago, having previously claimed singles medals in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, plus doubles silver in 2014.

Bargh is a professional badminton coach at Summerfields Leisure Centre, where pay and play badminton badminton sessions are available mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends. She wished to thank Freedom Leisure for its ongoing support.