The British Junior Open, one of the most prestigious junior squash events in the world, returns to Sheffield for the 22nd consecutive year.
The event will see 412 players from 33 nations compete from 2nd to 6th of January for the coveted titles.
Hallamshire Tennis and Squash Club and Abbeydale Park Rackets and Fitness Club remain as host venues and are joined once again by Fulwood Sports Club, enabling all eight categories to be played out in full monrad.
Egypt, who clinched six out of the eight titles in 2016, come armed once again with some hot contenders, claiming five out of the eight top seeded positions for the 2017 competition.
Junior World Squash 2016 champion, Eain Yow Ng from Malaysia takes his place at the top of the Boys Under 19 / Drysdale Cup draw with Egypt’s Youseff Ibrahim, last year’s British Junior Open U17 winner as second seed. Home heroes Kyle Finch from Hampshire, the recent British Junior National Boys Under 19 champion, and Surrey’s Charlie Lee lead the way for England in the 5/8 and 9/16 spots respectively but will face higher-seeded opposition from India, USA and France.
The Girls Under 19 competition looks to be an all Egyptian affair, as they occupy all of the top three seeded positions. Two-time BJO title holder and top seed Hania El Hammamy is hot favourite but is likely to face stiff opposition from fellow countrymen Amina Yousry, a BJO Under 17 2016 semi-finalist and Nada Abbas, the London Open 2016 winner.
The Boys Under 17 category looks to be fiercely contested amongst the Egyptians with BJO 2016 U17 champion Marwan Tarek topping the seeds and team mates Omar El Torkey coming in at number two, and Mostafa Assal in the 3/4 spot. Hoping to challenge the Egyptians is England’s Nick Wall from Sheffield who occupies the 5/8 seeded position and was recently crowned British Junior National Boys Under 17 champion.
In the Girls Under 17 competition, the Egyptians dominate the top two seeds with Engy Hammouda and Hana Motaz Ayoub. Hot on their heels in the 3/4 spot is Malaysia’s Aifa Azman who claimed the 2016 BJO Under 15 title. English hopes lie with five-time British Junior National champion Elise Lazarus from Essex who holds the 5/8 position and three-time English Junior champion Alice Green in the 9/16 spot.
The English challenge in the Boys Under 15 event will be spearheaded by Yorkshire’s Sam Todd, crowned BJO Under 13 winner in 2016, who occupies the 3/4 position. Todd will have to overcome Egyptian top seed Yahia El Nawsany, the 2015 BJO Boys Under 13 winner and second seed Karim El Barbary.
The USA’s Marina Stefanoni occupies the top spot in the Girls Under 15 category but ready to challenge Stefanoni are Egypt’s Farida Ahmed (second seed) and Nour Khaled (3/4), a runner up in last year’s BJO Girls Under 13 event. English hopes rest on Katie Maliff, the 2015 British Junior Under 13 National champion seeded 5/8 and Middlesex’s Margot Prow seeded 9/16.
Malaysia’s Aira Azam tops the draw of the Girls Under 13 category with Egypt’s Farida Ahmed coming in at number two. Meanwhile’s England’s Torrie Malik, seeded 5/8 will be hoping to build on her recent British Junior Nationals success.
Egypt’s Omar Azzam and Kareem El Torky tops the Boys Under 13 draw. Lying in wait for a shot at the title is 3/4 seed, England’s own Sam Osborne-Wylde who recently claimed the British Junior National Under 13 title.
Entry is free of charge with play starting every day at 9am, with all finals scheduled to start from 9.30am on Friday 6thJanuary 2017.
Follow the event at http://www.britishjunioropen.com/