Whyalla hosts Squash Open

WINNERS: From left, Australian player Jessica Turnbull, Max Cranes Commercial Manager Sarah Joyce-Cresp and Scottish Pro Angus Gillams holding the Squash SA Len Atkins Perpetual Shield.

WINNERS: From left, Australian player Jessica Turnbull, Max Cranes Commercial Manager Sarah Joyce-Cresp and Scottish Pro Angus Gillams holding the Squash SA Len Atkins Perpetual Shield.

The Steel City MAX SA Open was held in Whyalla over the weekend, with a variety of competitors from around the world visiting the steel city to compete.

This Open was held alongside the Whyalla Open at the Whyalla Squash Club, making it a huge weekend for squash in the town.

Scottish pro Angus Gillams triumphed over rising Egyptian star Moustafa Elsirty in the Men's Final while Aussie Jessica Turnbull won the Woman's Final over Hong Kong player Tze-Wing Tong.

Whyalla player and Sqaush Club President Jim Watson came close to claiming the Men's Division 1 title in the Whyalla Open, but fell to Chao Yi Wong from Adelaide in five sets.

Two other local players emerged victorious in their respective grades, with Anthony Travers winning Men's Division 3 and Will Sheasby winning Junior Division 2.

Mr Watson said it was exciting to host 32 professional players over the weekend, with pros travelling from as far as Qatar, Malaysia, England, and the USA for the Open.

"They really liked Whyalla, usually when they go to professional events they don't have time to hang around but they were more inclined to hang around our centre because we're very grassroots," he said.

"One of the Aussie players and one of the New Zealand players were happy to help with our juniors as well."

Mr Watson said the Squash Club were looking forward to hosting the next two SA Opens in 2020 and 2021.

"Squash SA asked us if we were interested in hosting the Open in Whyalla this year because Whyalla has been a bit of a focus because of the stuff with GFG," he said.

"They thought it would be a great way to highlight the sport and a bit of a different feel and take on the event."

Moustafa Elsirty, a 17-year-old who was the runner-up in the World Junior Open Final, also spent his time coaching the Whyalla juniors.

MAX Cranes Equipment Hire were the major sponsor for the Open.