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Mighty Mo ready for British Open challenge

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Loving it: Mohamed Elshorbagy holds the British Open trophy in Hull
Loving it: Mohamed Elshorbagy holds the British Open trophy in Hull

Champion keen to mount title defence in Hull
By NATHAN CLARKE

 

Twelve months after adding his name to the illustrious list of former Allam British Open champions World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy, the 24-year-old Egyptian based in Bristol, says he is hungry for more success at the prestigious ‘Wimbledon of Squash’.

Elshorbagy joined the likes of legendary icons Jahangir Khan, Jansher Khan and mentor Jonah Barrington when he defeated Gregory Gaultier to triumph in a brutal encounter last May.  Having successfully defended his Qatar Classic, Hong Kong Open and Tournament of Champions crowns so far during the 2015-16 season the man who has dominated the top or the world rankings throughout the past 12 months is hoping to complete a clean sweep of title-defences when he takes centre stage at the Airco Arena, Hull from March 21-27.

“Winning the British Open was an achievement that I will always remember as it was something that I always dreamt of achieving,” said Elshorbagy.

“It was a dream come true and an honour to have my name beside all the greatest players in the history of squash. Having Jonah Barrington guiding me throughout my career made it even bigger for me because I wanted to try and put my name on the trophy beside his. I

“But after you win, while you try to enjoy the experience and the feeling as much as you can for a few days, you need to refocus quickly. There are a lot of players that want to take my place in the rankings and I have to make sure that I remain consistent during the season.

Flat out: Mohamed savours his moment of victory
Flat out: Mohamed savours his moment of victory

“I was able to defend my titles in Qatar, Hong Kong and New York so I don’t think the pressure is that I am the defending champion, the pressure comes from wanting to win a tournament like the British Open. Having already won it takes some pressure off me but as an athlete and a competition you want to win everything and I definitely want to see my name on that trophy a few more times.”

While Elshorbagy knows he will face stiff competition from the likes of 2014 champion Gaultier, three-time winner Nick Matthew and the returning 2013 champion Ramy Ashour, his main rival on the PSA World Tour, he also says the top players cannot take anything for granted during a golden era of depth across the rankings.

“It was good to see different players coming through this season and making the latter stages of major World Series tournaments,” he said.

“It is exciting for the sport and as players we don’t know what to expect when we go on court because there is so much talent out there and so many capable players. That competition gives me extra motivation to train harder and continue to improve as a player and I hope to continue that progress in Hull.

“It will be good to be back in Hull. Dr Allam has been supporting our sport over the past few years and does a great job making us feel comfortable during the competition and we are all thankful for the support he gives us.”

The 2016 Allam British Open, PSA World Series tournament, takes place in Hull, England from Saturday 19th to Sunday March 27. Qualification rounds will take place at the University of Hull on March 19-20 while the main draw action will be played at the Airco Arena from March 21.

Tickets for the 2016 Allam British Squash Championships can be booked online at www.isportstore.com, by telephone on (+44) 0 844 8797 949 or for more information email [email protected] 

 

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