PONTEFRACT Squash Club’s James Willstrop (pictured), whose tournament season is ended, plays Italian League finals this weekend and French League finals the following weekend.
The opposition will be strong so there has been no let up in training for him.
He will then go to Colorado in the United States for three weeks’ altitude training, with his world number one ranking secure at least until September.
Former Ackworth School pupil Willstrop visited his old school this week. In addition to carrying out a book signing for his successful book ’Shot and a Ghost’ he addressed the school’s pupils on the value of consistent hard work and endeavour. It was well received by the school’s staff.
A proposed series of exhibitions involving Willstrop and Ramy Ashour in August are currently under negotiation.
Should it materialise there will be little problem filling squash clubs since their matches have captivated squash enthusiasts in New York more than once and also in Hong Kong and just recently at the 02 Arena in London.
Indian international Joshana Chinappa, who has recently been training at Pontefract, has recovered from a long-term injury in style.
A few weeks ago she was instrumental in the Indian women’s team winning the Asian Games Team Championship in their first-ever appearance in the final.
In the final, she beat the highly- rated and much higher ranked Joey Chan (Hong Kong) to see India to a famous victory.
Last weekend she won the Chennai Open in her home town.
Seeded two, she overcame a strong international field, beating talented young English player Sarah Jane Perry 3-1 in the final.
Australia’s number two woman player Donna Urquhart is the latest foreign international to visit Pontefract for training purposes, in preparation for a WISPA tournament in Paris in June.
Her family are close friends of Warrington Wolves RL coach Tony Smith, a keen squash player who will also be in Pontefract this week.
Sam Todd, Pontefract’s exceptional nine year old, goes to Manchester this weekend in search of his first national title, the England Under 11 Championship.
Seeded three behind two boys soon to leave the age group, Todd showed he was in good form at Chapel Alllerton in the under 13 category when he extended the fifth ranked under 13 in the country Nick Wall before losing narrowly 3-1.