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Singapore Open set to be 1st major squash competition in 10 years

Top seeds at the Marigold Singapore Squash Open, Paul Coll (left) and Amanda Sobhy. (PHOTO: Steve Line/SquashPics.com)
Top seeds at the Marigold Singapore Squash Open, Paul Coll (left) and Amanda Sobhy. (PHOTO: Steve Line/SquashPics.com)

SINGAPORE — Men’s world No. 1 Paul Coll and American star Amanda Sobhy will be leading the field at the Marigold Singapore Squash Open, to be held from 15 to 20 November at Kallang Squash Centre and OCBC Arena.

This is the first major international squash competition to be held in Singapore in 10 years, and is also the first-ever Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour Gold-tier event to be held in Southeast Asia.

The week-long tournament - which has a total prize purse of US$220,000 (S$313,000) - is set to feature top professional players such as Coll, Sohby, Ali Farag, Mostafa Asal and Nour El Tayeb.

“An event of this stature is a boost to the local squash community," said Patrick Thio, president of the Singapore Squash Rackets Association (SSRA), in a media release on Friday (14 October).

"In addition to the thrilling displays of squash, there will also be clinics and opportunities for interaction with these athletes. We hope the action on and off the court will be a source of inspiration to our young squash athletes in their pursuit of sporting excellence."

Two Singapore wildcards in the main draw

The men’s and women’s singles draws each comprise 24 players, who will battle it out over five rounds of play.

In the men's singles, Coll - the reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist - is set to resume his rivalry with three-time world champion Farag, the Egyptian world No.2. Both men are on opposite ends of the draw and have received a first-round bye.

In the women's singles, world No.4 Sobhy is the top seed, and is joined by world No.5 Joelle King of New Zealand and world No.6 Nour El Tayeb of Egypt.

The Singapore Squash Open will also feature two Singapore wildcards. Au Yeong Wai Yhann will take on Canada's Hollie Naughton in the women’s event, while Samuel Kang will do battle with German No.1 Raphael Kandra in the men’s draw.

As part of SSRA outreach efforts to make squash fun, the public can participate in activities that introduce the sport to those who may not be familiar with it. One such activity at the OCBC Arena during the tournament is mixed reality squash, which integrates the sport with digital technology and gaming.

“It will be a very special experience, and not only because our friends and family can be present to watch us play," said five-time national champion Au Yeong.

"It gives them a glimpse of what we train for as national athletes: the chance to compete at the top levels of our sport. We’re working hard so that we can give our best performance next month.”

Tickets for the Open will go on sale on Sistic from 2pm on Monday (17 October). All of the action from the tournament will also be streamed live on SquashTV.

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