International podium place for Letchworth badminton star Leona Lee

Leona Lee in action during the Three Borders international in France.

Leona Lee in action during the Three Borders international in France. - Credit: VIKKI LEE

Leona Lee's march towards badminton stardom continued with an international tournament in France.

The Letchworth youngster and Hitchin Girls' School pupil was competing at the U19 Yonex Three Borders international, held on the French side of Swiss town Basel.

It brought her toe to toe with some of the strongest players in Europe but undeterred she put in some strong performances.

She reached the semi-finals of the singles after straight games wins over Spanish pair Carmen Jiminez and Nikol Carulla in rounds one and two and then Elena Phan of the host nation in round three.

Ukraine's Yana Sobko was beaten in the quarter-finals with a final score of 21-15 21-8 but she came unstuck against eventual winner Chiara Handoyo of Indonesia in the semi-final although only just, going down 21-17 21-8.

That though matched her pre-tournament hopes.

She said: "My target was the semi-finals and with this fantastic achievement, I am now in contention for the selection by Badminton England for the 2022 U19 European Championships in August."

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She also made the quarter-finals in the doubles playing with Lisa Curtin of Milton Keynes.