Posted on April 09, 2019

Aspire Academy’s squash team gave a strong performance at the “Luxembourg Junior Open” between April 5 and 7, with Waleed Zaman winning in the U-17 category and Salem Al Malki securing third place in the U-15s.

As a regular junior tour event, this year’s Luxembourg Junior Open saw an increase in participation from players across Europe. It was a well-run event, providing excellent competition for the six Aspire players competing as the tournament looks to gain Grand Prix status on the calendar next season. The highlight of the weekend came from Grade 11 student Waleed Zaman, who won his first European junior event with victory in the U-17 age group. After dominating the opening two games of the final, Waleed withstood a comeback from Belgian Antoine Allard to narrowly take the fourth game and claim the title 11/4, 11/6, 6/11, 15/13. Having fought hard at previous European events, Waleed’s coaching staff were delighted to see him make such a breakthrough.

In the Under-15 event, Grade 8 student Salem Al Malki also performed well to take 3rd place. This included a win over the competition’s number two seed and showed his growing tactical prowess. With one year remaining in this age group, Salem has made considerable improvement since the start of this season. Ibrahim Al Darwish also did well to qualify for the main draw of the Under-17 event. He beat the number seven seed before being knocked out by teammate Waleed Zaman. Unfortunately, a hamstring strain then forced Ibrahim to withdraw from his final two matches to avoid further injury.

In the Under-19 event, Ahmad Al Meraikhi took 6th place. Yousef Al Kubaisi also ranked 6th in the Under 15 category. Grade 7 student Abdulrahman Ajineh managed to qualify for the U-13 age category and finished in 14th place.