Multi-national cast of winners at Italian Junior Open

The 30th edition of the ESF Italian Junior Open had a multi-national cast of 251 players from 35 countries with title winners from Wales, Spain, Hungary, England, Poland and Dominica!

The silver level event at the Italian Squash Federation’s technical centre in Riccione was a tremendous success and great preparation for many of the participants ahead of the European Junior Open in Wroclaw, Poland starting on 27 June and the World Junior Championships in Houston, USA on 12-23 July.

Ioan Sharpe from Wales clinched the boys’ Under-19 title – his second of the season following victory at the Slovenian Open, as well as two runner-up finishes and two semi-finals.

“I really enjoyed the tournament,” said the 18-year-old who is hoping to secure a place at Birmingham University in September and hopes to transition to the PSA Tour. “It was a good tournament to test my fitness levels in hot conditions, especially with the World Junior Championships in Texas coming up.”

Top seed Sharpe beat Germany’s Fabian Igelbrink 11-8 11-5 11-7 in the final with Italy’s 17/32 seed Carmine Chiappetta a popular home winner in the bronze medal play-off.

Spain’s Ona Blasco won the girls’ U19 title for the second year in a row, toppling Hungary’s Siana Zhileva in the final. Ukraine’s Milena Velychko took bronze.

In a huge field in the boys’ U17 category, Aly Ezzat from Dominica – who is based at Egypt’s famous Black Ball Sporting Club – won the title by beating USA’s Rohan Roy 11-7 11-7 12-10. Second seed Nora Juhasz from Hungary won the girls’ U17 title with a four-game win over Ukraine’s Anastasiia Krykun.

There was more Hungarian success in the boys’ U15 as Vince Czako scorched through the draw without dropping a game, winning the final 11-8 11-8 11-5 against Switzerland’s Morris Frey. The top seed, England’s Ameerah Ismail, waltzed to the girls’ title, encountering her toughest test in the final from Argentina’s Uma Churlis, whom she beat 11-4 11-2 11-6.

The U13 titles were both won by Poland with top seeds Anna Jakubiec and Kacper Stachowiak taking home the trophies.