STRATFORD Squash Club junior George Owen is celebrating after claiming his first victory in an under 19 tournament.
Having recently finished his A Levels, Owen has decided to take a year out to concentrate on squash.
Now training six days a week, he has already seen a dramatic improvement in his level of endurance which is essential for squash.
He recently entered the Since 86 tournament at Lee-on-the-Solent in the under 19 category and in his first game he comfortably beat his opponent Andreas Bo 2-0 (11-5, 11-4).
His second game against Harry Fisher proved to be a very challenging encounter and Fisher’s volleying skills combined with pinpoint drop shots gave him an early advantage as he won the first set 11-6.
The second set was a fiercely fought contest with volleys being exchanged in quick succession followed by multiple dives to reach the ball.
Having saved two match points, Owen managed to take the second set 13-11.
The final set proved to be a war of attrition as both players began to feel the pain.
After excruciatingly long rallies, both players began to cramp up but neither would give in and, after saving a further three match points, Owen dug in again to win the final set 14-12 and take the match 2-1.
Owen’s final match against Marc Chi Tsng was relatively comfortable and an 11-4, 11-6 win secured the title.
Owen’s current England Squash ranking is 36 in the under 19s but, with this win, he should be firmly in the low thirties next month.
Stratford Squash Club coach Dave Petty said: “George’s aim is to reach the top 20 in the country but on this performance I see no reason why he should not make the top ten, considering the short time he has had with his new training programme.”
If you would like to come and try squash, the Stratford club provide junior coaching every Saturday morning. Contact Dave Petty on 07971 162479 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.