Willstrop aims for gold in Manchester when he teams up with Massaro

James Willstrop is in Winchester this weekend for an exhibition with England teammate Darly Selby.  Picture: Steve Line/SquashPics.com
James Willstrop is in Winchester this weekend for an exhibition with England teammate Darly Selby. Picture: Steve Line/SquashPics.com

TWO WORLD squash championships will be held at Manchester Sports City this year.

The world doubles takes places from August 1 to 5 and the world individual championships from December 9 to 17.

Pontefract’s Lee Beachill is a Commonwealth doubles gold medalist and James Willstrop is a silver and bronze medalist, as well as a silver medalist in the individual event.

Willstrop will be looking to turn silver into gold in Manchester when he teams up with Laura Massaro in the mixed championship, Massaro recently having won the women’s World Series in Dubai.

He will partner the best of England’s younger players Declan James in the men’s event.

Saurav Ghosal will be competing for India in Manchester, partnered by Dipika Pallikal, who won a doubles gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Much of what happens in Manchester in August will have a significant bearing on selection for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia, so there is plenty at stake.

Willstrop is currently combining his doubles preparation with rehearsals for Terence Rattigan’s famous ‘Deep Blue Sea’ at the Ilkley Playhouse from July 12 to 22.

This weekend he is in Winchester for an exhibition with England teammate Darly Selby.

France’s winner of PSA’s player of the year award Camille Serme, world number three, arrives this weekend to train at Pontefract and she will be a guest at the club’s Foundation Day at Pontefract races next Tuesday.

On Saturday and Sunday, July 15 and 16 there will be the Mr JM Todd Junior tournament at the club, Mr Todd being the father of the club’s owner.