Nottinghamshire News

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16th February 2022

Fourth World Masters Gold medal for Nottinghamshire’s Ken Tantum - An inspiration to us all -

Ken’s previous World Masters Gold titles:-

2011 Vancouver – 0ver 65s Mixed, partner Jo Elson (Avon).
2013 Ankara – Over 65s Mixed, partner Sue Awcock (Sussex).
2015 Helsingborg, Sweden – Over 70s Mixed, partner Jo Elson (Avon).
It has been a difficult tournament season generally for over 75s players due to injuries, knee ops and retirements. Most 75’s players had to play down in the over 70's age group this season, which at 77yrs. has not been easy for Nottinghamshire’s Ken Tantum.

Ken entered in the World Championships, held in Spain, with his usual partners Jo Elson (Avon) and Roger Baldwin (Essex). Before the Kent Masters Gold Tournament in October, mixed partner Jo fell in her first club match and broke her wrist. Unfortunately, The Badminton World Federation informed Ken that there were no available replacement Ladies for the Worlds!
At the Kent Tournament, partner Roger snapped the tendon in his shoulder and also pulled out. The good news for Ken was that at least he could then play in the World’s with Roger’s mixed partner, Vicki Betts (Hampshire).
Just before Ken left for Huelva, Spain, a Swedish name appeared on the draw as Ken’s men’s partner.
At the World’s there were two mixed groups, reduced by withdrawals. Ken and Vicki won their group and semi-final comfortably, all in straight sets, and then beat Mary Jenner and Ray Sharp from Kent in the final 21-8 21-18 winning the Gold medal.
In the men's (also two groups), Ken and his Swedish men’s partner won two matches but lost to 1st seeds Ray Sharp and Ian Brothers from Kent. However, they still qualified for the semi-final, which they lost. Ray and Ian subsequently won the final. Ken and his partner each won the Bronze medal.
Ken’s other achievement’s so far this season; he was runner up with Mary Jenner (Kent) in the over 75s in both the Kent Masters Gold and the West of England Masters tournaments.
In addition, runner up with Vera Groves from Sussex at the National Masters Championships played at Hatfield.
Ken’s next tournament is the Hampshire Masters in February, at which the biggest entry group is the over 70s mixed – to quote Ken “There must be life in many 'old dogs' yet”!
All being well, Ken will be continuing to enter most of the English Masters Tournaments, focusing on the Europeans in August this year in Slovenia.
Then defending his title at the World Masters 2023 in South Korea.

Ken’s achievements must surely inspire others – that a non-senior county player and relatively late starter should achieve such great heights.

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