Asian junior runner-up, Kush Kumar, an Indian Squash Academy trainee, will lead India’s charge in the 2014 WSF World Junior Squash Championship, which is to be held in Namibia from August 10 to 21.
This is the first time that Namibia is hosting a world championship. The competitions will be organised in the capital city of Windhoek at the Wanderers Squash Club and a new multi-sport complex which has come up for the occasion.
The championship will include men’s and women’s individual events to be followed by the team competitions.
Kush Kumar, who was instrumental in helping India gain a bronze (India’s best show till date) in the team event in the previous edition held two years ago in Qatar, has been given 3/4 seeding and a first-round bye.
Other members of the side are Madhav Dhingra, Vijay Kumar Meena, Velavan Senthilkumar (recent winner of Pioneer Cup U-17 event) and Harshit Kaur Jawanda, (national U-19 girls’ champion). Avinash Bhavnani (coach) and Cyrus Poncha (National coach) are accompanying the team.
Diego Elias, a 17-year-old from Lima, is favourite in the men’s event-and seeded to become the first ever world squash champion from Peru while Egyptian Nour El Sherbini, who became the sport’s youngest ever world champion after first winning the women’s world junior (U-19) title in Chennai 2009-aged just 13-is now competing for one final time and going for a record fourth title.
More than 150 players from 30 nations are expected to compete in the championship. Namibia is only the third African country, after Egypt and South Africa, to host a world squash championship.