Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Leo Au and Shawn De Lierre set new world record


Record breakers Leo Au (right) and Shawn Delierre
Record breakers Leo Au (right) and Shawn Delierre

Leo Au and Shawn Delierre battle for 2 hours 50 minutes in Alberta semi-final
By Squash Mad Reporter

Leo Au, the World No.33 from Hong Kong, and Canada’s Shawn Delierre broke the record for the longest professional squash match ever recorded during the semi-finals of the Holtrand Gas City Pro-Am 2015 in Alberta, Canada.

Au, 24, lifted the trophy following a tough 85-minute final against Malaysian Muhd Asyraf Azan, coming from 2-1 down to win 3-2, in a dramatic victory that came less than 24 hours after he won the longest match ever recorded – a mammoth 170-minute encounter against Delierre, the World No.54.

It was a match that eclipsed the previous record set 32-years ago by legendary Pakistani six-time world champion Jahangir Khan, who took 166 minutes to get past Gamal Awad in the 1983 Chichester Festival in the era of ‘hand-in-hand-out’ scoring.

With the fifth game, which went to 16-14, lasting an incredible 78-minutes alone the victory saw Au, who stands at 5ft 4, complete a total of over 300-minutes on court during the four-day tournament, averaging 75-minutes-plus per day as he stormed to the title, earn his place in the annals of sporting history in the process.

“It was a tough week for me because I’m physically and mentally exhausted after the tournament,” said Au.

“I’m really happy to win this match against Shawn. In the fifth game neither of us ever had a big lead, it was 1-1, 2-2, 3-3 and always very tight.

“When we got to the tie-break I don’t think anyone could tell who would win in that situation because both of us were tired and we were still pushing hard for each point. Fortunately, I managed to finish the match at 16-14!

“I was physically very tired in the final but I just fought for each point and didn’t think much about other things. I’m happy that my fitness lasted until the end and that I was able to stay focused during the match.”

Shawn Delierre has featured in many marathon matches
Shawn Delierre has featured in many marathon matches

PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “The fact that Leo not only won his 170-minute match against Shawn, but then followed it up by winning the final in 85-minutes, with less than 24 hours recovery, is testament to the kind of physical conditioning that is par for the course on the PSA World Tour at present.

“In sports like Premier League football, players are lauded for completing two 90-minute matches inside seven days while we are regularly seeing players backing up from 60-minute plus battles on a daily basis at all events, from the Challenger level all the way through to World Series. This demonstrates the supreme fitness levels that are required to play squash at the highest standard. The players deserve all the credit for the efforts they put in.”

Results: Holtrand Gas City Pro-AM

[1] Leo Au (HKG) bt [4] Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 3-2: 11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5 [85m]

[1] Leo Au (HKG) bt [3] Shawn Delierre (CAN) 3-2: 11-6, 4-11, 11-6, 7-11, 16-14 [170m]
[4] Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) bt [2] Martin Knight (NZL) 3-2: 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 [108m]

The five longest matches ever recorded are:

2015: Leo Au (HKG) bt Shawn Delierre (CAN) 3-2: 11-6, 4-11, 11-6, 7-11, 16-14 [170m] (Gas City Pro-Am)
1983: Jahangir Khan (PAK) bt Gamal Awad (EGY) 3-1: 9-10, 9-5, 9-7, 9-2 [166m] (Chichester Festival)
2013: Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-2: 11-13, 12-10, 14-12, 4-11, 14-12 [157m] (National Capital Open)
2008: Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Shahier Razik (CAN) 3-2: 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-5 [150m] (Baltimore Cup)
2006: Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Adrian Grant (ENG) 3-2: 12-10, 11-3, 3-11, 7-11, 13-11 [146m] (Hong Kong Open)

Picture courtesy of PSA 


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