The 2019 OncoCare Singapore Junior Open returns once again to the Kallang Squash Centre from 10 to 14 December 2019. The Asian Junior Super Series Gold event will see a total of ten categories contested, split evenly between the boys and girls.
This year’s event sees a record breaking 344 entries from a total of 18 countries, a jump from 294 entries last year. This makes this year’s event biggest ever in the history of the Singapore Junior Open. Singapore will be represented by 71 entries but the bulk of entries come from neighbour Malaysia with 169.
“With the support of OncoCare, we are pleased that we have been able to grow the Singapore Junior Open. We have a record number of 344 entries with over 270 foreign participants this year.
“This will be a great opportunity for our local junior players to spar with some of the best around the region. I’d like to encourage the local community to come to the Kallang Squash Centre to support our players. Do follow our social media pages for all the latest updates!”, said Patrick Thio, President of the Singapore Squash Rackets Association.
Singapore’s brightest hope for glory in this year’s event has to be in the Girls Under-13 and Boys Under-17 events, where Ong Zhe Sim and Edward Thng are top seeds in their respective categories. However, both are expected to face stiff competition from their peers.
Edward stands a very good chance at the title but will face stiff competition from Malaysian Aidan Yunus, the second seed and ranked just two rungs below him in the Asian Junior Ranking. Joint-third seeds Hi Jia Rong of Malaysia and Japanese Yuki Tokuhara will also be challengers for the title.
Singapore will have the strongest line-up in the Boys Under-17 category as Edward Thng will be joined by fellow national juniors Zacheus Yeo, Josiah Chong, Samuel Lau, Benjamin Koh and Theodore Chua, all of whom are seeded in the top-16.
In the headlining Boys Under-19 event, left-hander Jerome Aw is Singapore’s best bet for a podium finish. The Asian Junior No.34 is seeded joint-fifth in the event alongside compatriot Rudy Johari.
In the Girls Under-13, Ong Zhe Sim is seeded to face Malaysia’s Najwa Zara Mohd Fakrul Razi in the final. But there is also likelihood of an all-Singapore final as Au Yeong Wai Iynn, who is seeded joint- third will face Najwa should matches go according to seeding. Wai Iynn will be seeking to improve on her fourth-place finish last year in the same category.
The Girls Under-15 will be one of the fiercest categories this year as it will feature two top-10 players from the Asian Junior Ranking as top seeds. Gracia Chua, the petite 13-year old will head the local challenge in this category. She is seeded joint-fifth and has a bright chance to make the last four. However, she will have Malaysian Vinikasheinie Kulasegaran in her quarter to deal with.
Paige Hill, who finished fourth in the Girls Under-15 event last year, is seeded second in the Under- 17 this year. Paige, daughter of Singaporean legend Peter Hill, will be going all out for the title and will have Malaysia’s top seeded Laavanya Kugan as her biggest challenge.
However, she will carry with her the experience of having represented Singapore at the World Junior Championships in Kuala Lumpur this year, where she had the opportunity to play Hania El Hammamy, the Egyptian World Junior Champion and current World No.10.
Other Singapore national juniors seeded in the Girls Under-17 are Joy Lim, who also participated at the World Junior Championships, Erin Chan and Waverly Wu. The trio are all seeded joint-ninth in the 32-player draw.
For the third consecutive year, OncoCare is back as the title sponsor of the event. Dr. Tay Miah Hiang, the co-founder and also the individual behind OncoCare’s involvement in junior squash, was happy to be back supporting the event and said:
“We are very happy to be back as title sponsor the Singapore Junior Open once again for the third year running. I see the event as both a national and international family event – and this brings the squash family together.
We see a record number of entries this year, with nearly 350 participating from 18 countries, as a very positive sign. It is also encouraging to learn that over 70 Singaporeans will be fighting it out in the event. Hopefully, the extra incentive (S$1,000) will spur our juniors to play even harder.”
All matches will be held at the Kallang Squash Centre (8 Stadium Boulevard, Singapore 397804) and entry to the event is free of charge. For further information, please visit sgsquashopen.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
OncoCare is the second largest private oncology practice in Singapore with seven clinics across the country, including a dedicated women’s clinic. OncoCare is throwing in an additional S$1,000 prize money to any Singaporean who wins in any category.