Squash Wales hosted what proved to be an excellent Wales Junior Open (WJO) at Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff from September 7-9; enjoying some excellent squash and unprecedented participation as more than 170 young players from across Europe and further afield descended on the Welsh capital.
Entrants from across the breadth of the UK – and as far as Malta, Pakistan and Hong Kong – took part in the annual championship in 10 separate boys and girls age groups from under 11 – under 19.
Harry Griffith claimed the boys under 11 title by beating Daniel Higgs; while Mariam Elissa overcame Mille Breach in the girls final.
Ellie Breach got the home crowd roaring as she beat Scotland’s Robyn McAlpine to under 13 gold; as England’s Abdallah Eissa proved too strong for compatriot Harry Bloomfield in the boys’ showpiece.
It was another all-England affair in the girls’ under 15 competition, with Emma Bartley coming out on top over Amelie Haworth; while Rhys Evans narrowly missed out on the boys title as he lost to Malta’s Kijan Sultana in their final.
Adam Goad of England pipped Ireland’s Denis Gilevskiy in the under 17s; while Asia Harris beat home favorite, Layna Beattie, to the girls’ title.
Another cross-border grudge match saw England’s Evie Coxon beat Ciara Richards of Wales to take the girls under 19 crown; as Lewis Anderson demonstrated his quality to claim the spoils in the boys tournament – touchingly dedicating his win to the young squash starlet Sumner Malik, who sadly passed away from a brain tumour in August.
Squash Wales congratulates all players who participated and represented their country with distinction; and thanks to the title sponsor – Karakal– who provided the winners prizes.