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SA’s top students aim to qualify for squash Worlds at NMU Open SA’s top students aim to qualify for squash Worlds at NMU Open
The Nelson Mandela University Open squash tournament, named a selection event for the student Worlds in Johannesburg in September, has attracted a star-studded national... SA’s top students aim to qualify for squash Worlds at NMU Open

The Nelson Mandela University Open squash tournament, named a selection event for the student Worlds in Johannesburg in September, has attracted a star-studded national field.

Tristen Worth will target his second title in three years at Crusaders in Gqeberha from today to Saturday.

The East London local, who has earned national colours, won in 2022 but did not return to defend his title last year.

However, with the event’s newfound status, he will be back for another shot at lifting the trophy annexed by Madibaz’ Warren Bower last year.

Madibaz Sport squash manager Theresa le Roux said they were thrilled to host a selection event for the University Sports South Africa team.

“It is fantastic to be chosen as one of the university tournaments where students can impress the selectors.

“And, from a Madibaz point of view, it is always good for our players to be exposed to squash at this level.”

The tournament had drawn more than 70 players, tournament director Jason le Roux confirmed this week.

The women’s section will also see a new champion being crowned as a two-time defending champion, and Mandela University alumnus Hayley Ward is competing abroad.

“We are extremely happy with the response from around the country,” Le Roux said. “An opportunity to be selected for the USSA team to play in the world championships is a big incentive.”

NWU colleagues Worth and Reuel Videler, both ranked in the top 10 in South Africa, head the draw.

Other serious student contenders are Brett Mclachlan from Maties, Nikhil Pather from UP-Tuks and Dylan Niemack from NWU.

Mike Donaldson will lead the Mandela University contingent, and Le Roux tipped him, causing some upsets.

Among the promising youngsters in the men’s field are EL-born Connor and Matthew Earl, who represent UP-Tuks.

He added that there was good support from players based in Nelson Mandela Bay.

He said Eastern Province No 1 Dean Venter would “definitely” feature among the top contenders.

Other locals such as Gershwin Forbes, Sips Mpini (former Madibaz players), Thomas Southway and Liam Ford will add spice to the men’s competition.

Zimbabwean national junior champions Braden Rayners (U19) and Brett Rayners (U16) will undoubtedly add an exciting dimension.

The women’s field is slightly smaller, but Le Roux predicted a high-quality contest.

Lara Patrick and Megan Shannon from UP-Tuks, Elske Garbers, and Kyla Hartzenberg from North-West will be fired up to impress regarding USSA selection.

There is also a solid local entry headed by EP players Kacey-Leigh Dodd, Anlen Jarman, Bianca Keeley and Siya Hloyi.

Le Roux acknowledged the university’s role in supporting the tournament, which counts SA Home Loans and Action Sports as additional sponsors.

“We are also grateful to Crusaders for making their facilities available to us due to graduation taking place and the possibility of load-shedding,” he said.

News desk

News desk writes, collates and publishes relevant news for Yiba.

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