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Canary Wharf sells out five months ahead of tournament

Lee Hortonhttps://squashmad.com
Former Sun, Mirror, People and Sunday Express sports executive. Knows a bit about newspapers and the art of talking a good game. Brighter than some but a way to go to match others.

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The imposing East Wintergarden venue, packed out every day
The imposing East Wintergarden venue, packed out every day

East Wintergarden tickets are snapped up inside five weeks

The 2017 Canary Wharf Squash Classic is again a complete sell-out, five months ahead of the world’s top players heading back to London’s favourite tournament.

In a replica of last year’s rush, all tickets were snapped up within five weeks of going on sale.

The tournament takes place at Canary Wharf’s superb East Wintergarden venue from March 6-10 and the stampede for tickets once again highlights the Canary Wharf Classic as London’s most popular squash tournament.

Tournament Director Tim Garner, the Events Director for the PSA World Tour, said: “This brings back memories of a golden era in squash when the British Open was staged at Wembley Conference Centre and sell-out crowds of more than 3,000 were recorded every year.

“As a junior, my job was to open and close the door of the glass court for the players, so that gave me the best seat in the house.”

Garner’s joint promoter Alan Thatcher has just co-authored a fantastic book on the legendary champion Jahangir Khan, who won the British Open 10 years in a row (Jahangir Khan: 555, launched last week by Pitch Publishing).

He said: “The success of Canary Wharf creates an atmosphere just like the 1980s, when huge crowds flocked to Wembley as Jahangir dominated the world of squash.

“Jahangir was followed by Jansher Khan (no relation) winning six British Opens until his run was halted by Peter Nicol in 1998.”

Nicol, like Garner a director of promoters Eventis Sports Management, added: “Success goes in cycles. After the domination of Pakistan we have seen a great era for English squash, led by Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, who have won nine Canary Wharf titles between them, and now the rankings are full of Egyptians.

“We had an Egyptian top seed this year in the imposing shape of the hard-hitting Omar Mosaad, who is known as the Hammer of Thor, but he lost in a brilliant final to Mathieu Castagnet of France.

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“With Mohamed Elshorbagy on top of the men’s world rankings, and Karim Abdel Gawad beating Ramy Ashour to win last week’s World Championship final in Cairo, this is clearly a golden era for Egyptian squash.

“They are also showing the same kind of domination in the women’s game, which will make life difficult for other nations for many years to come.”

Garner was in charge of the technical aspects of the tournament in Cairo, and also oversaw the building of the glass court in front of the Great Pyramids when squash returned to possibly the most spectacular venue in the world of sport seven weeks ago.

He added: “It’s wonderful to see squash staging such wonderful tournaments in fantastic settings. The players always enjoy coming to Canary Wharf because there are few things more inspiring than playing in front of a packed arena.

“This year the crowds enjoyed one of the most amazing squash rallies of all time, when New Zealand’s Paul Coll dived spectacularly to get the ball back three times and ended up winning the point against James Willstrop. That video clip has been viewed millions of times.

“We are all looking forward to another week of brilliant squash in March as the sport continues to lobby for a deserved place in the Olympic Games.”

Garner announced that the Canary Wharf Classic will again have a waiting list for anyone who has missed out on a ticket.

To join the waiting list, fans can email this address: [email protected]

A limited number of hospitality covers, which enjoy an unprecedented view of the court, are available.
Details available from [email protected]

Full tournament details: www.canarywharfsquash.com

Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com)

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