Collin Matiza Sports Editor
BULAWAYO squash prodigy Ryan Gwidzima was yesterday walking on cloud nine after he wrote his own piece of history by winning the 2018 Hungarian Junior Open Boys’ Under-13 title, beating his opponent Antoni Jakubiec of Poland 3-0 in the final.
He became the first junior squash player from Zimbabwe to win a top title in Europe.
According to reports from Budapest, Gwadzima, who is now based in the UK, won the final 11-3, 11-4, 11-3 and only lost a total of 53 points in total in four matches. In other words, he absolutely dominated the tournament.
In the first round on Friday, 12-year-old Gwadzima, who was seeded in the 9-16 bracket, outclassed unseeded Kamil Efe Taskin of Turkey 3-0 (11-1, 11-1, 11-0) before stopping fourth-seeded Swiss Lorenz Hochstrasser 3-0 (11-1, 11-1, 11-0) in the next round on the same day to pull through to the quarter-finals.
In the last eight on Saturday, Gwadzima was still on fire as he swept his way past another Swiss player Fabian Seitz, outsmarting him 3-0 (11-5, 11-4, 11-5) to book himself a semi-final date with the top seed Czech Republic’s David Linhart.
In his match against Linhart on Saturday night, Gwadzima was pushed to the limit by the Czech player before upsetting him 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 12-10) as he marched into yesterday’s final against third seed Jakubiec.
And there was no stopping a fired-up Gwadzima in yesterday’s final which he won in three straight sets to be crowned this year’s Hungarian Junior Open Boys Under-13 Champion.
Gwidzima arrived at the Hungarian Junior Open Championships brimming with confidence after winning the England Squash North West Junior Boys Under-13 Boys title at the National Squash Centre in Manchester the previous weekend.
Playing under his school, Wycliffe College, Gwidzima beat the tournament’s first seed, England’s Bailey Malik, 3-0 (12-10, 15-13, 11-6) in the final to clinch his first major title in the UK since he moved there in August this year to further his studies and his game on a scholarship at Wycliffe College.
Wycliffe College is a co-educational, independent, private day and boarding school located in the town of Stonehouse in Gloucestershire, England, and in their ranks they now have a future world champion in the making – Ryan Gwidzima of Zimbabwe.
In September, Gwidzima announced his arrival in the European junior squash circuit by finishing ninth in the Boys’ Under-13 section of the Karakal Welsh Junior Open tournament at Cardiff Squash and Rackets Club in Wales.
In Wales, Gwidzima lost 3-0 (11-3, 11-2, 11-1) to eventual champion Abdallah Eissa of England.
In December last year, at the age of 11, Gwidzima played at the US Junior Championships’ Under-13 age group and did well to come out in 17th place overall in a draw of 124 players.
This opened the doors for him to be recruited by one of the best squash schools in England, Wycliffe College, under the Ryan Gwidzima Trust.
The trust is chaired by Bulawayo lawyer Promise Ncube and comprises former Education and Sports Minister David Coltart, Michael Harvey and Trevor Williams.
Gwidzima started playing squash at Bulaway’s Suburbs Squash Club where he was coached by his father Langton.