August 2013

AJ Bell World Squash Championship!

Manchester based investment platform AJ Bell has added to its existing sports sponsorship activity by becoming title sponsor of the Men’s 2013 AJ Bell World Squash Championship.

With its Head Office overlooking the Old Trafford home of Premier League champions Manchester United, AJ Bell has established itself as another major success story for the North West in recent years.

Since the company was founded in 1995 it has quickly grown to become one of the UK’s largest providers of low-cost, online investment platforms and stockbroker services. Proud of its North West roots it also has national coverage with offices in London and Tunbridge Wells.

Having identified squash players as target group, AJ Bell then quickly moved to secure naming rights for the AJ Bell World Squash Championship too.
“With 1.5 million squash players distributed fairly evenly across the UK, our sponsorship of the event in Manchester is a chance to increase our brand awareness nationally,” said AJ Bell’s Marketing Director, Billy Mackay.

“With increasing interest in squash and a decision imminent on the sport’s bid to gain Olympic Games recognition, it is an exciting time to add our support to the excellent work being carried out by the Championship’s stakeholders, PSA, England Squash and Racketball, UK Sport and Manchester City Council.” added Mackay.

The 2013 AJ Bell World Squash Championship is the most coveted on the PSA World Series Tour and takes place from October 26 to November 3, with the quarter-finals onwards hosted on an iconic ASB ShowGlassCourt built at the internationally known, Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex).

Egypt’s undisputed world number one, Ramy Ashour, will defend the title he won in Doha last December. Ashour also won when the World Championships were last staged in Manchester five years ago.

However, England are World Team champions and, in Yorkshire duo Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, have two players capable of beating the planet’s best.

The tournament forms part of UK Sport’s Gold Events series and tickets are now at the official website.

Namibia host World Championships!

In what will be one of the southern African country’s first ever stagings of a world championship event, Namibia has won the rights to host the 2014 WSF World Junior Squash Championships.

The World Squash Federation event, which will include the Men’s & Women’s World Junior Individual Championships in addition to the Men’s World Junior Team Championship, will be held in the capital Windhoek from 10-21 August 2014.

“We are proud and excited that Namibia has been awarded the rights to host the 2014 edition of the World Junior Squash Championships, in Windhoek. This is the first event of this magnitude to be hosted in our country and we look forward to welcoming juniors from all over the world to our beautiful country,” said Tyc Kakehongo (ri), the Tournament Director for Desert Events Namibia on behalf of the Namibian Squash Association.

“The main objective for the Namibian Squash Association remains to promote squash as a choice of sport for the general public. By hosting a global show-piece of the sport, we hope this will give a major boost to our vision of mass participation from the full spectrum of our communities and leave behind a legacy that will see many Namibians – especially our youth – take up a fun and exciting sport.”

WSF President N Ramachandran (le) added: “For our World Junior Championships to be awarded to Namibia next year after Qatar in 2012 and Poland this year illustrates further the breadth of enthusiasm for squash – something of which we are very proud.”

Namibia becomes only the third African country, after Egypt and South Africa, to host a world squash championship.

Peter Barker takes Colombian Open title!

Unbeaten in Bogota over the past 8 years, England’s Peter Barker celebrated his 4th Colombian when he defeated Egypt’s World No11 Omar Mosaad in the final of the PSA World Tour International 50 squash event Open in the Colombian capital Bogota.

Winner of the title for 3 successive years from 2005, London left-hander Barker made a popular return to the South American country for the 1st time since 2007 – this time in his first appearance as top seed.

After 55 minutes the World No7 closing out the match 11-4, 11-4, 8-11, 11-3 to claim his 4th Bogota title. The triumph marks Barker’s 1st PSA Tour title of the year – but the 14th of the 29-year-old’s career.

[1] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 11-4, 11-4, 8-11, 11-3 (55m)

[1] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [4] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 12-10, 11-5, 11-4 (38m)
[3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (38m)

[1] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 11-6, 11-0, 3-0 ret. (19m)
[4] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 13-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-3 (66m)
[3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Alfredo Avila (MEX) 11-9, 11-8, 3-11, 11-6 (43m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 11-3 (45m)

1st round:
[1] Peter Barker (ENG) bt Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) 11-7, 11-5, 11-13, 11-13, 11-9 (78m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX) 8-11, 12-10, 11-4, 4-11, 11-7 (94m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [Q] Leo Au (HKG) 5-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-8 (40m)
[4] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt Ong Beng Hee (MAS) 11-9, 11-9, 11-2 (30m)
[3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [WC] Nicolas Valderrama (COL) 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 (26m)
[Q] Alfredo Avila (MEX) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6 (41m)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt [Q] Max Lee (HKG) 11-7, 2-11, 11-8, 11-8 (41m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [2] Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5 (39m)

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Nicol David takes 3rd World Games Gold!

The Malaysia’s W No1 Nicol David (mi) striking gold for a record 3rd time in a row in the women’s championship in the 9th staging of the World Games in the Cali. David reached the latest milestone in her illustrious squash career when she beat Dutch rival Natalie Grinham (le) 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 in a repeat of the 2009 final in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei.

The 29-year-old from Penang, who has topped the world rankings unopposed since August 2006 said: “It’s so nice to win a medal at a multi-sport event”. The bronze medal went to France as Camille Serme (ri) beat 2nd seed Low Wee Wern from Malaysia in straight games 11-8, 11-4, 11-4.

Greg Gaultier takes World Games Gold!

French World No2 Greg Gaultier (mi) claiming the 1st ever gold medal for France in the men’s event of the World Games in the Colombian city of Cali.

Gaultier took on surprise opponent Simon Rosner (le), the 3rd seed who upset England’s No2 seed Peter Barker in the semi-finals to become Germany’s first ever finalist. Gaultier went into the match boasting a 10-0 career head-to-head record over his opponent, ranked 12 in the world.

Rosner took 1st game but as errors crept into the German’s game Gaultier drew level. Gaultier maintained the upper hand thereafter to march through to his 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4 win to give the gold medal to France. “I’m so happy to contribute this gold to the total tally of medals to my country,” said Gaultier afterwards.

Popular local hero Miguel Angel Rodriguez (ri) claimed the first World Games medal for Colombia after Barker was forced to concede the men’s bronze medal play-off due to injury.