Collin Matiza Sports Editor
UK-BASED Zimbabwe’s junior squash sensation Ryan Gwidzima has done it again!
After winning the 2018 Hungarian Junior Open Boys’ Under-13 title in Budapest last month, Gwidzima was back on the winners’ podium, this time at the Pontefract Junior Open tournament at Pontefract in West Yorkshire, England, at the weekend where he swept his way into the final.
And according to reports from Pontefract, the Bulawayo-born star, who is on a squash scholarship at Wycliffe College in Gloucestershire, England, beat Briton Luke Camfield 3-0 in the final. This saw Gwidzima lifting his third title overseas since he moved to the UK in August this year to further his studies and his game on a scholarship at Wycliffe College.
Before winning the Hungarian Junior Open Boys’ Under-13 title in Budapest on October 21, Gwidzima had announced his arrival in the European junior squash scene by winning the England Squash North West Junior Boys Under-13 crown at the National Squash Centre in Manchester the previous weekend.
And at the weekend, the talented young Zimbabwean player was at Pontefract in West Yorkshire, England, competing in the Pontefract Junior Open tournament where he was once again unstoppable in the boys’ Under-13 section. He began his campaign at this tournament by beating Briton Charles Hill of Warwickshire in straight sets 11-3, 11-5, 11-3 in Round 32 before he went to meet Ben Flower of Yorkshire in an epic Round 16 tie in which he posted another straight-sets victory 11-7, 11-5, 11-7.
Up next for Gwidzima in the quarter-finals was Mumin Bilen of Cambridgeshire who he laboured to beat 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 to march into the last four where he met Alex Banhidal of Essex.
And fighting for a place in the final against Banhidal, Gwidzima was in an uncompromising mood as he thrashed his British opponent in straight sets 11-2, 11-3, 11-6 to move into Sunday’s final where he beat Surrey’s Camfield to lift his second title in England and his third in Europe during his short stay there.
In fact, it is reported that Gwidzima played a lot of high quality squash to beat a dangerous opponent – Banhidal – in the semi-finals on Saturday as he booked his date with Camfield whom he outplayed in the final on Sunday.
Gwidzima is now looking forward to competing in the US Junior Open tournament in three weeks time.
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.