The World Junior Squash Championship will be held in Chennai from July 18 to July 29. This will be third time that the city hosts the biennial tournament.
The individual competition will be played between July 18 and July 23 and the men’s team championship will be held from July 24 to July 29.
The tournament will see 171 players from 28 countries fighting for the top honours at junior level. The top two seeds in the men’s section are Marwan Tarek and Mostafa Asal. In fact, the top five men’s seeds are Egyptians. The women’s seedings are also topped by Egyptians Rowan Reda Araby and Hania El Hammamy. Tarek and Araby are the defending champions.
Read: India grants visa to Pakistan squash contingent for World Championship
The initial rounds will be played at the Indian Squash Academy courts. Matches from the quarterfinals onwards will be held in the Express Avenue Mall in an effort to bring the public closer to the sport. “Our motto this year is to the take the sport to the public. And hence Express Avenue, which sees a lot of crowd, will help us in promoting the sport,” said tournament director Cyrus Poncha. A portable glass-back court is being installed for the purpose.
James Willstrop of England emerged victorious when the tournament was held here in 2002 and Egyptian duo Mohamed Elshorbagy and Nour El Sherbini were champions in 2009. They have gone on to become big names in the sport since, achieving world number-one status on the way.
Pakistan is the defending champion in the team event. Despite some initial trouble procuring visas, the Pakistan team will be in Chennai looking to defend its title. India finished sixth in the team championship in Poland in 2016.
Twelve Indians will participate in the this year’s edition. Ashita Bhengra is the only player from Tamil Nadu.