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British Junior Open - Birmingham

posted Jan 8, 2019, 10:34 AM by S Meanley   [ updated Jan 21, 2019, 12:59 AM ]

Three Mersea children traveled to Birmingham for 2-6th January to experience for the first time the Platinum level squash tournament that is possibly the biggest junior tournament in the world. George, Mersea's first pupil to do the tournament whilst still at Mersea Island School, Amelie yr 7 and Lara yr 9 took on the world’s best children in their respective age groups (Boys Under 11’s, Girls under 13’s and Girls under 15’s). To even gain entry to this event is a feat as it requires a high national ranking in your home country to be able to compete. As an international event it attracts up to 750 competitors in 10 competitions spread between boys and girls and catering for under 11 age groups (George's section) right up to under 19.

George had possibly the unluckiest draw to start as he was drawn against the number one seeded player from Malaysia, although he lost this match George forced some long rallies and won some good points against this boy, with some crucial learning done, the experience that George gained, by seeing first-hand what the next level of competition is like, was invaluable. George went on through the competition to win 2/5 of his matches and take a finishing 51st.

Amelie had a great start to the BJO by dispatching a seeded player in round one. The competition runs as a monrad draw, which is a multi-match draw format whereby all players continue to play, win or lose through to a final finishing position. The earlier you win a match the higher up the draw you finish. By winning her early match Amelie secured herself a 1-32 place finish at her first attempt. Amelie went on to win 2/5 matches to finish in 23rd place with players in her draw from Belgium, Wales, Slovenia and Australia.

Lara in her first year of her age group had matches against girls from Botswana, Slovenia and the number one girl from India in her draw whom she faced in round one. She won 2/5 matches to finish in 57th position.

The opportunity for the Mersea players to experience different styles from different nations and the pressure involved at this high level of competition, will serve them well in the future, lots learnt, and lots gained.