The Allam British Open which climaxed at the London Piazza, O2 Arena over the weekend in front of sellout crowds, has been widely hailed as a success by the leading players.
There was a touch of déjà vu about the results as well, when despite a two-year hiatus, as reigning champion Nick Matthew retained his title, and Nicol David captured the women’s title for a fourth time.
“It is my passion to encourage youngsters to get involved in sport and bringing the British Open and world class sportsmen to Hull will I hope, inspire them further. This year’s championship was a great success with two great athletes and they deserve an opportunity to win Olympic medals.”
Nick Matthew, making history as the first Englishman to win the event three times commented; “I thought it was a great tournament. In the early part of the week the court was a playing dead because it was fairly cold inside the O2, but overall there can be no complaints. It is just great to have the Allam British Open back in the schedule, the venue looked great and it felt like a big stage to play on. The crowds really got behind players and I can’t wait to defend my title when the event moves up to Hull next year as it will feel like home territory to me. If the other players think London is ‘England territory’ just wait until they come to Hull.”
World number one James Willstrop, who exited the tournament after an epic semi-final match against Egypt’sRamy Ashour, echoed Matthew’s comments; “I thought the event was really well put together by England Squash & Racketball. The court suited my style of play and there was so much going on around the event itself that everyone enjoyed playing in the British Open again. From a player’s perspective, I can’t see any reason why moving the Open to Hull will negatively impact it at all.”
The return of the British open at London’s O2 Arena, saw the world’s best squash players cheered on by sellout crowds. How the Olympics still overlooks the sport is a mystery to the players and among the visitors to the British Open during the week was Olympic silver medalist Colin Jackson and members of the All Party Parliamentary Leisure Group.
The dates for the 2013 Allam British Open will be confirmed shortly.