Monday, December 4, 2023

Denis Gilevskiy claims first British Junior Open title for Ireland

Denis Gilevskiy controls the boys' under-13 final
Denis Gilevskiy controls the boys’ under-13 final

Elise and Sam finish runners-up for England
By DONNA HELMER in Sheffield


This year’s British Junior Open drew to a close with a dazzling display of squash and two surprising records set on the tournament’s final day.

The championships saw upsets, comebacks, thrashings and thrillers but some of the best action was saved for last in Sheffield.

And much of that was showcased in the main event Boys’ Under 19 final, played out by unseeded Abhay Singh and Velavan Senthilkumar [5/8] in what was the first all-Indian final in the tournament’s history.

The match promised to be a tight contest between the two, with long early rallies played out as neither gave the other an inch. Singh and Senthilkumar entertained the packed crowd on the all-glass show court at Abbeydale Rackets and Fitness Club for one hour before Senthilkumar eventually emerged victorious 16/14, 11/2, 10/12, 11/7.

The finals also saw the first-ever Irish winner in the form of 12-year-old Denis Gilevskiy [17/32], who comfortably dispatched England’s Sam Osborne-Wylde [3/4] in the Boys’ Under 13s final.

The Irish youngster proved too strong for Osborne-Wylde, 12, of Cofton Hackett, Gloucestershire, opening up a 10/1 lead in the first game and winning it 11/2. Consecutive 11/6 wins in the last two games saw him claim the title in just 20 minutes.

England’s hopes of a win were shattered when 16-year-old Elise Lazarus was beaten 3-0 in the final. Lazarus and Osborne-Wylde’s journeys to the last day meant England had two representatives in the finals for the first time since 2001.

Lazarus [5/8], 16, of Woodford Green, Essex, faced Hana Motaz Ayoub in the final of the Under 17s but was beaten in 23 minutes, with the No.2 seed from Egypt Ayoub winning 11/9, 11/6, 11/6.

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Top seed Egyptian Hania El Hammamy defeated her fellow countryman Zenia Mickawy [5/8] 11/4, 10/12, 11/6, 11/6 in the Girls’ Under 19s event, winning her fourth title at the championships. While Marwan Tarek [1] came back from 1-0 down to beat Omar El Torky [2] 9/11, 11/4, 11/7, 11/8 in another all-Egyptian final in the Boys’ Under 17s category.

The Boys’ and Girls’ Under 15s and the Girls’ Under 13s trophies were all also taken home by Egyptians, with top seed Yahia El Nawsany overcoming Malaysia’s Duncan Lee 11/9, 11/3, 11/5 in the Boys’s Under 15s; Nour Abouelmakrim [3/4] beating second seed Farida Ahmed (Egypt) 11/6, 11/9, 8/11, 11/4 in the girls’ competition; and Salma El Tayab impressing in the day’s first match. She resisted a spirited comeback from Noureen Khalifa (Egypt) to seal her win in the Under 13s title 11/6, 9/11, 11/7, 11/8.

Pictures courtesy of England Squash 


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