ESF European Individual U19 Squash Championships - Boys' title contenders

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ESF European Individual U19 Squash Championships - Boys' title contenders

The prestigious European Individual U19 Squash Championships has attracted a field of 119 players from all corners of Europe to Aerosquash Baneasa in Bucharest this weekend.

Jonah Bryant of England will be bidding to defend the title he won in Langnau, Switzerland last year in what will be his last international junior tournament. If he does so, he will become only the third player to win the boys' trophy twice, joining Frenchmen Gregory Gaultier and Victor Crouin (Camille Serme is the only player to have won it three times).

The European U19 Individuals date back to 1989 when England's Peter Marshall was the first ever boys' winner. He went on to become world No.2 and runner-up in the 1994 World Championships. Three other former European U19 champions - Lee Beachill, Gregory Gaultier and James Willstrop - have gone on to become world No.1.

This year's competitors will hope that success in Bucharest also marks the beginning of similarly impressive careers.

Here, the ESF profiles the top four seeds for the individual boys' title:

1. Jonah Bryant (England)

Defending champion Bryant is a strong favourite for the boys' title, having already made a big impression on the PSA Tour since turning pro last year. He has won four of the six PSA events that he has entered (most recently the $9k MRU Open in Calgary, Canada) and finshed runner-up to Egypt's awesome Mohamed Zakaria in January's British Junior Open, losing in four games. He is coached by the renowned Rob Owen, who also coaches Paul Coll, Nele Gilis and Sarah Jane Perry.


2. David Bernet (Switzerland)

Bernet has also been mixing it with the big boys on the PSA Tour with a semi-final appearance at the Swiss Open and a runner-up finish at the Leichtenstein Open. He finished third at the British Junior Open in January but since then has taken a break from junior competition, which has seen him drop from No.1 to No.2 on the ESF U19 rankings. This will be his last international junior event before he turns 19 and joins the adult ranks. He will want to go out with a bang before ditching the goggles!


3. Melvil Scianimanico (France)

This will also be the last major junior competition for Scianomanico before he finishes his education this summer, starts as a full-time pro and moves to France's famous high-performance centre in Aix-en-Provence. The current ESF U19 No.1 finished fourth in the European Individuals last year, but recent victories at the Dutch and French Junior Open will give him confidence he can go one deeper in Bucharest.

4. Yusuf Sheikh (England)

Sheikh has won titles regularly in England and Europe during a tremendous junior career. The East Londoner is ranked No.3 in Europe and recently took the title at the German Junior Open, adding to his win at the Nordic Junior Open last year. At last year's European Individuals, he lost to second seed Rowan Damming in the quarter-finals.


All the information for the 2024 ESF European Individual Squash Championships can be found here

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