Coffs Harbour Squash hosts PSA Challenger Tour 12 Tournament

Addeen Idrakie, world ranked 68.

INTERNATIONAL squash players will descend on Coffs Harbour next week for the PSA Challenger Tour 12 tournament.

And 20th-year anniversary celebrations of the North Coast will mean one of the strongest events on record.

The event has continued to grow and expand over the past 20 years, with the continued support of local business Costa Berries, Direct Wholesale Services, Barry Hockey Accountants, Subway, Tecnifibre, Karakal Australia and Coffs Coast Events.

Preparations for the Costa North Coast Open PSA Challenger Squash tournament are well underway with players set to arrive in Coffs Harbour from this Saturday to prepare for next week’s world tour event.

There is plenty of excitement as the tournament has attracted a very classy field of players in both the men and women’s open grades with a very strong representation of international players making their first trip to Coffs Harbour, and for a few who are returning to contest the coveted title of North Coast Open Champion.

The tournament has attracted players representing 15 countries this year and with the new Challenger Tour 12 criteria set by the Professional Squash Association (PSA) has drawn top-level players to the event.

In the men’s draw, Addeen Idrakie of Malaysia, world ranked 68 is making another bid to win the coveted crown after finishing runner up in 2022.

He will be challenged by Ivan Yuen, ranked 71, and Mohammad Syafiq Kamal, ranked 91, of Malaysia, and India’s Valavan Sendlethkumar, ranked 104.

In the women’s main draw Malak Khafagy, world ranked 63, is the top seed and arriving from Melbourne where she finished 3-4 in the World Junior Championship just completed two weeks ago.

Her main challengers are No 2 seed, Australian Champion and previous winner in 2021 Jessica Turnbull Qld, world-ranked 64.

Turnbull is a Commonwealth Games representative and has been competing overseas with some great results.

Other rivals will be Ainaa Amani, world ranked 65 of Malaysia, seeded No 3, who is a rising star of Malaysian squash and making her first appearance in the Coffs Harbour event, and No 4 Seed, Joshna Chinappa, ranked 73, a former world top-10 and Commonwealth Games medallist, of India.

Peter Saxby said, “the higher tournament classification as a PSA Challenger 12 has drawn a very positive response from all parts of the globe with increased world-ranking points on offer.

Players will be looking to produce their best efforts as they endeavour to advance through the competition.

It’s a great opportunity for Coffs Harbour spectators and visitors to come out to the squash centre and see these world class players competing.

The visiting PSA players will take time out to get on court with junior players and show them a few tricks at a junior clinic on Thursday 17 August from 4pm.

Then on Friday there is a Refereeing Update and Accreditation Session by leading WSO and National Referee Nathan Turnbull, and a coaching session with tutor Robyn Prentice.

Anyone wanting to attend the session can phone the squash centre to register on 66536523 for the sessions.

Action then heats up with the top eight men and eight women set to take court on Friday night.

Friday night’s program begins at 5.30pm with the official welcome to players and visitors.

There will be a full supporting program with graded and junior events starting on Saturday 19 August.

There will be special live-streaming of the matches throughout the tournament with live scoring to keep all squash enthusiasts around the world engaged about what’s happening in the Coffs Coast event.

When visiting the centre, players and visitors will have the opportunity to check out the latest squash equipment exhibition and get some good bargains during the tournament.

By Peter SAXBY

Jessica Turnbull, world ranked 64.

Leave a Reply