AN up-and-coming athlete from Hampshire triumphed in the under 17s Badminton England championships to fulfil his new year’s wish for 2022.

Barton Peveril student, Daniel Wykes from Chandler’s Ford, secured gold in the men's singles at the national championships in Milton Keynes.

The win secured a number five ranking for the 16-year-old after starting the year as number seven in the country in the under-17s category.

Dan, of Neath Way, came back from a challenging first set in the final against Oliver Wu, taking his competitor to a deciding third set where the Hampshire player won 21-10.

The national champion, who was determined to make the top five before 2023, said: “At the start of the year I made a plan with my coaches to improve enough to get to the semi-final stage of the nationals.

“It was fantastic that all my hard work paid off. But now it's back to training and planning the next steps of my journey.

“My goals include representing England at under 19 and hopefully one day playing in the Commonwealth and Olympic games.”

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The committed athlete began playing at nine years old and now trains 10 hours a week, mainly at the Hilt at Valley Park Badminton Club with coach Mark Peckham and in Ringwood with Nicky Cerfontyne.

Dan also plays county badminton matches and enters tournaments throughout the year. His highlights include reaching the quarter-finals in the under 17s French Open and the semi-final in the under 17 Spanish international contest.

Mother Kirstie Nimmo added: “I'm incredibly proud of him. He's worked so hard and it's great to see it all coming together.”

Daniel claimed gold on Sunday, December 4 at the two-day championships at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes.