Irish schoolboy wins major squash championship

Denis Gilevskiy is first Irish player in British Junior Squash Open finals since the 1920s

 Ireland’s Denis Gilevskiy  runs past Sam Osborne-Wylde of England during the under-13 final at the British Junior Squash Open.  Photograph: Steve Cubbins.

Ireland’s Denis Gilevskiy runs past Sam Osborne-Wylde of England during the under-13 final at the British Junior Squash Open. Photograph: Steve Cubbins.

 

A Co Wicklow schoolboy has won the under-13 championship at the world’s largest and most prestigious junior squash tournament, the British Junior Squash Open.

Denis Gilevskiy (12), a pupil at Presentation College Bray, beat Sam Osborne-Wylde in the final on Friday morning, after four days of competition in Sheffield, England.

According to the tournament organisers, the last time an Irish player made it to the finals of the British Junior Squash Open was in the 1920s.

Speaking after the final, Denis said he had been playing squash since he was six-years-old .

“My parents wanted me to try it, and I liked it,” he said.

He said that before the tournament he had been training as much as six days a week with the Mount Pleasant Club in Ranelagh and at the Westwood Gym in Leopardstown, Dublin.

He said he is not particularly worried about whether his heavy training schedule will interfere with his academic work.

“I go straight after school and train for 30 minutes to one hour,” he said.

Family success

Denis’s elder brother, Nikita (19), is also a successful squash player, and won a squash scholarship to Cornell University in New York.

Asked if he would like to follow his brother into a sports scholarship, Denis said: “Well, I hoped to be the best I can and play professionally, if everything goes well for me.”

Keir Worth, chief executive of tournament organisers English Squash, said that “what Denis has achieved is not only a fantastic achievement for himself but for Irish squash as well.”

He hoped his performance would “boost the sport in Ireland and he returns to the British Junior Open with many more Irish players year after year.”

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