Lisa Curtin brought home two medals after leading the English charge at the 2022 European Junior Championships in Belgrade.
The young Milton Keynes shuttler came so close to women’s singles gold, taking the lead in a thrilling final against Kaloyana Nalbantova only to have to settle for silver after a fightback from the Bulgarian.
And Curtin had to recover quickly for her second final of the day just hours later in Serbia when she and Estelle Van Leeuwen took to court in the women’s doubles final, at the tournament which brings together the best under-19 players from across the continent.
Despite a brave effort against the higher seeds from Spain Nikol Carullathey and Lucia Rodriguez, the English duo lost in two tight sets going down 21-19, 21-16.
Curtin, also a former U-15 European silver medallist, reached the singles final after an excellent run that was typified by her edging out Benedicte Sillassen of Denmark in a Friday night thriller at the semi-final stage.
The first set went to the wire only for Curtin to narrowly claim 22-20 and although Sillassen levelled the match it was the English player who rallied in the decider to claim a dramatic victory 22-20, 19-21, 21-19.
That set up Saturday’s gold medal match with tenth seed Nalbantova where Curtin came out firing, claiming the opening set inside quarter of an hour.
But an impressive second game from Nalbantova swung the momentum of the contest, despite Curtin saving three game points.
And the Bulgarian claimed gold after rattling off six straight points on the bounce in the decider, securing a 14-21, 21-17, 21-16 win.
The eventual champion had also beaten another Englishwoman Leona Lee in the last eight.
Elsewhere, Blake Hoang and Chloe Dennis impressed in the mixed doubles by reaching the last 16 after a three-set comeback win over Ukraine’s Yevhenii Stolovoi and Yevheniia Kantemyr, 15-21, 21-13, 21-12.
Sadly, their run would not go any further as the highly rated French third seeds Mael Cattoen and Camile Pognante advanced following a 21-12, 21-10 win.
Van Leeuwen teamed up with Oliver Butler in the same draw, becoming the second English pair to reach the last 16.
But the 16th seeds also fell victim to a French pair, losing 23-21, 21-18 to Lucas Renoir and Tea Margueritte who went onto to win the tournament.