Squash, a sport in full rise

7 febrero, 2018 | 10:29 am

J.P. Morgan Tournament of champions. The most important event in the world of Squash


Carlos Eduardo Croes

Especial para Quinto Dia


From January 18 to 25, 2018, the Tournament of Champions was held in the heart of the Big Apple; right in the imposing surroundings of the Grand Central Terminal. This event brings together the elite of the world of Squash, a sport that every day captures more followers.


For the second consecutive year, Quinto Dia, was invited to cover this wonderful Tournament, a unique opportunity to delve into this fascinating but little known sport in our country, Venezuela. Squash has qualities that help the health and recreation of those who practice it; an activity that fuses the world of sports with technology in a truly captivating way.


Our research work is focused on knowing the main reason for the growth of this sport that is currently practiced in more than 70 countries worldwide. In the same way we seek to understand the sacrifices made by the people who dedicate themselves to this sport; his life style; discover the passion that has led them to practice Squash for more than 20 years and recognize the qualities needed to become a true professional.


We also wanted to take the opportunity to investigate the reasons why this sport is not taken into account for the Olympic Games. Know the management that is being made by the PSA (Professional Squash Association) to promote it and the immediate actions they take to get Squash to be included in the Olympics in Paris for the year 2024, since for Tokyo 2020 it was not possible.



Talking with the specialists

When we talk about Squash, the Egyptians take the lead; a sample of that is the player Ramy Ashour; who was for a long time in the first place and who is currently number 14 in the world, since he is recovering from an injury. Ashour explained: “For us, Squash is like football for Brazilians, we carry it in our blood, it’s something genetic”; The Egyptian highlighted that practicing this sport is an opportunity to leave his country to have a successful and internationally recognized career.


Tarek Momen, player number 7 of the world, current subchampion of the ToC, and his wife Raneem El Welily, both also from Egypt informed us that they count there with facilities for their development, “we have many courts to play; from small we get motivated with the illusion of playing and becoming over the years in Squash professionals “.


About the use of technology; We were able to speak with John Massarella, referee of the circuit with more than 18 years of experience and who has witnessed this development and evolution. Massarella said that he has learned a lot from coaches and players but that with the appearance and use of instant replays a lot has been advanced: “Of course we are wrong sometimes but now we have the opportunity to correct with the implementation of the repetitions, we are in constant learning. ” Despite what the specialist expressed, there are people within the circuits who oppose its use, because at their discretion, the players dedicate themselves to “request the play” with the repetition instead of following the game.


In this sport not only talent is needed, discipline, sacrifice, concentration and passion for the game are what really determine the career development of a person who decides to dedicate to Squash.


In spite of the fact that on the court what is seen at first glance is talent, when we enter the talks, everyone agrees that discipline is extremely necessary. Diego Elías, Peruvian player number 10 in the world and with millions of opportunities ahead, stressed the importance of maintaining consistency in this sport: “You have to train, train and train.”


Elias took the opportunity to send a message to those who are starting in the world of Squash: “Training is simple because no matter how you give the ball, she always comes to you.”


For his part, Ali Farag, player number 3 in the world and among its resolutions for 2018 is being number 1,  tells us: “I train disciplined, I try every day to correct mistakes and the most important thing is that I listen to my coaches a lot, for me, their opinion is indispensable “.


Sarah Jane Perry, ranked number 8 in the ranking of women explained that for her to have fun playing is a fundamental factor; He practices from an early age and considers Squash as a way of life.


Simon Rosner, the best German player in history and current champion of the Tournament of Champions; translates the passion into the smile and discipline that should be carried to the court and during training: “Working hard is a key but enjoy it is even more important”.



What happened in Tokyo 2020 and what will happen to Paris 2024

The World Squash Federation (WSF) was devastated after the news that, once again, the Squash was not taken into account to participate in the next Olympic Games.


Squash was on the list of 8 sports that would be evaluated by the organizers of the Olympics; however, only 5 were selected. Like this sport, Bowling and Wushu were not taken into account either.


Lee Beachill, PSA’s chief operations chief, said: “It’s not the end of Squash. This sport is gaining more followers every day. We will continue doing our job of promotion and preparation of events around the world so that the elite players and the sport itself are recognized as they gather the sufficient merits for it “.


Latin America a large market

The maximum operational authority of the PSA took the opportunity to recognize the importance that Latin America currently has, since it is considered a potential market for level players. Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay, Mexico are examples of this. ‘We need more players like Diego Elías and Miguel Ángel Rodríguez; who have given him that diversity that this sport needs for his promotion “. Similarly, Beachill indicated that for the second semester of the year, there would be something scheduled in Colombia; but, “we do not know date yet”.