To celebrate the return of the Allam British Open Squash Championships, England Squash & Racketball are, in the truest spirit of an ‘Open’ event staging four pre-qualifying events to take the British Open back to its roots and rekindle the prospect that absolutely any player, professional or amateur could win this historic Championship.
Given the return to London of the Allam British Open, the pre-qualification initiative is being heavily supported by county squash associations and clubs in the London and South East. This weekend (21-22 April) will see the first two events being run at The Connaught Club, Essex and The Parklangley Club, Kent.
The Connaught Club will be running a Men’s and Women’s Pre Qualification with James Simpson (Surrey) heading the seedings along with English U17 Junior Champion Richie Fallows (Essex) while the Women’s draw will see Harriet Ingham (Surrey) start as favourite with Selina Sinclair (Middlesex) as second seed. The Parklangley Club will be running a Men’s only event and is a real mix of professional players young and old along with juniors and club players. Joey Barrington (Somerset) who has previously reached 24 in the world is favourite and will be looking to claim a qualifying spot in the event that his father won a tremendous six times. Ben Ford (Kent) will be looking to contest the final against Barrington however with former European Junior ChampionAnthony Graham (Gloucestershire) in the mix nothing is certain.[hr]
The weekend following (28-29 April) will see Finchley Manor Squash Club host a further Men’s draw with K2 Leisure Centre hosting the second Men’s and Women’s event. Finchley Manor Squash Club will see Ben Ford taking full advantage of the open entry policy as he takes part in a second event, he will once again be playing as the second seed in this draw. Hoping to meet him in the final will be the top seed and world ranked 66, Robbie Temple (Gloucestershire). Over at the K2 Leisure Centre Anthony Graham will also be back in a second event as he tries to guarantee himself a spot in the qualifying, he is likely to face Alex Phillips (Hampshire) in the final while the Women’s event could see sisters Harriet & Georgina Ingham contest the final.
These events will provide an opportunity for all the players involved to become a part of the Allam British Open, the winner of each event will progress into the main event qualification draw alongside world ranked players from the PSA and WSA world tours, from which the top eight players will join the world’s leading players in the Allam British Open Championships.
Paul Fennell, Regional Manager for England Squash & Racketball commented; “I am delighted that, the Allam British Open is being thrown open to regular players with pre qualifying tournaments. There are some very talented club and county players, for whom these events will be an exciting opportunity.“
All events will start at midday on the respective weekends with the semi finals and finals scheduled for the Sunday afternoon. All spectators are welcomed free of charge.