After a five-month derailment,
the much-anticipated 12th World Junior Men’s Squash Championships
is back on track, with play set to begin Tuesday, December 3rd in
The four-man US Junior
Men’s Team, sponsored by Prince Squash, will be lead by returning
national team member Julian Illingworth along with teammates Christopher
Gordon, Nicholas Chirls and Michael Gilman. Team USA, under the
guidance of coaches Mike Callaway and Duncan Pearson, will look
to crack into the top sixteen, bettering their 17th-place finish
at the 2000 Championships in Milan.
are scheduled to participate in the two-week champioship, which
will provide both individual and team competitions for the premier
male junior squash players in the world. England returns to the
stage as defending Team champion, and is a strong favorite in the
Individual event, with James Wilstrop and Peter Barker earning the
top two seeds in the 103-man draw.
How will the US fair?
Better than ever…? Finishing in the top-sixteen is the team’s
initial goal, but the players have set their sights much higher.
Many feel this particular squad can position themselves squarely
among the top ten, if not the top eight. And while no US players
were seeded in the Individual event, two Americans (Illingworth
and Gordon) each earned first-round “byes” – a
strong indication of their top-32 status.
First and second-round
match-ups begin Tuesday at 11:00AM (1:00AM EST) and could give an
early indication of where the US will place in the critical Team
seedings. Despite the random draw, two Americans (Gilman and Chirls),
and conceivably a third (Illingworth), will square off agains Zimbabwean
national team members – a country that finished two spots
higher than the US at the last World Championships.
Individual Draw: early-round
Julian Illingworth vs. Jethro Binns (ZIM) or Neil Robertson (WAL)
Christopher Gordon vs. Mark Krajesak (HUN) or Patrick Choi (HK)
Nicholas Chirls vs. Patrick Stevens (ZIM)
Michael Gilman vs. Daniel McElvaine (ZIM)
Individual Draw: top-sixteen
1. James Wilstrop (ENG)
2. Peter Barker (ENG)
3. Moustafa Essam (EGY)
4. Majid Khan (PAK)
5. Eric Galvez (MEX)
6. Dylan Bennett (NED)
7. Ahmend Assan (EGY)
8. Jhie Gough (AUS)
9. Marco Datwyler (SUI)
10. Aaron Frankcomb (AUS)
11. Amr Swelam (EGY)
12. Arshad Burki (PAK)
13. Safeerullah Khan (PAK)
14. Khayal Muhammad (PAK)
15. Ashley Flather (ENG)
16. Timothy Arnold (MAS)
The World Squash Federation,
together with the Indian Squash Federation, have selected The Cements
Squash Academy – arguably the finest squash facility in Asia
– as the host for this year’s championship. The Academy’s
stadium complex features seven new ASB glass-back, multi-colored
squash courts as well as one all-glass exhibition court.
Despite recent tensions
in northern India (indeed, the India/Pakistan conflict was the original
catalyst for the postponement of the games) a strong list of nations
is scheduled to arrive in the southern city of Chennai, including:
Australia, Canada, Egypt, England, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland,
Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan,
Scotland, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, United States, Wales and Zimbabwe.
Stay tuned for all the
latest news and US results from Chennai!
Special thanks to Prince
Squash for sponsoring this year’s US Team, and to the countless
friends and family members who supported the coaches and players
in their quest for the World Junior title!