The draws for the 2023 British Junior Open (BJO) have been released with current world junior champions Amina Orfi of Egypt and Rowan Damming of the Netherlands headlining the girls and boys under 19 draws respectively in Birmingham from 4-8 January.
The flagship event will feature strong contingents of representatives from Egypt, Malaysia and the USA among the tournament favourites.
Featuring 673 international players competing across 10 age categories, the England Squash platinum event returns to its full scale for the first time since 2020.
BU19 top seed Damming is predicted to meet 15-year-old [3/4] Mohamed Zakaria (Egy) in the semi-finals ahead of a potential final showdown with home hero Finnlay Withington – in what could be a repeat of the 2022 World Men’s Junior Championships final. Hot on their heels and looking to upset proceedings is Columbia’s [5/8] Juan Jose Torres Lara who edged Damming in a thrilling US Junior Open BU19 final yesterday.
An all-Egyptian GU19 final could be on the cards featuring three-time BJO champion Orfi and World No.47  Fayrouz Aboelokheir, a former BJO GU15 champion.
In Orfi’s half of the draw is reigning BJO champion [5/8] Torrie Malik (Eng) and 3/4 seed Malak Khagafy (Egy), while Malaysia’s former BJO champion Aira Azman is scheduled for a last four encounter with Aboelkheir.
An Egyptian quartet is seeded to meet in the last four of the BU17 draw with top seed Youssef Salem striving to capture his second BJO title. Lying in wait for a shot at the title are compatriots  Adham Roshdy, [3/4] Ahmed Rashed and [3/4] Eyad Hossam.
Egypt’s Barb Sameh is in prime position to take the GU17 title as top seed and is predicted to meet [3/4] Madison Ho (USA) in the semis ahead of a potential final showdown with compatriot  Salma El Sheik.
Hot favourite to lift the BU15 title is former BJO champion Nickleswar Mogansundraham of Malaysia. Looking to mount an upset is two-time US Junior champion [3/4] Jack Elriani (USA) and  Marwan Asal (Egy).
14-year-old Anahat Singh, who represented India at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, is on the cards to add a second BJO title to her impressive medal haul as GU15 top seed. Singh is predicted to square off with  Whitney Wilson (Mas) in the final in what could be a repeat of the 2019 GU11 final in which Singh prevailed.
The BU13 draw predicts a USA/Egypt final with top seed Carlton Capella (USA) set to do battle with Eygptian  Eyad Walid Youssef Moussa.
Meanwhile, Capella’s compatriot  Isabella Tang is predicted to meet top seed Malika Taymour (Egy) in the GU13 final.
In the under 11s, Egyptians Hazem Sarwat and Talia Sherif are favourites to lift the boys and girls titles respectively.