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The eleven young men and women representing the United States in the 2016 World Junior Squash Championships have arrived in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, before the competition commences this Saturday, August 6.
The 2016 World Junior Championships begin with the annual Men’s and Women’s World Junior Individual Championships, August 6-11, followed by the biennial Men’s World Junior Team Championship, August 12-17.
The four junior men competing in the biennial team competition include 2015 world juniors individual players Spencer Lovejoy, recent U.S. junior finalist, and Gabriel Morgan, who both make their debut in the team competition.
U.S. junior champion Andrew Douglas and Sam Scherl make their debut at world juniors in both the team and individual competitions. In addition to the four players on the men’s team, Harrison Gill and developmental player Eric Kim will both compete in the individual competition. Scherl is the only junior men’s team member who enters the individual competition seeded as a 13/16 seed.
Of the five junior women competing in the individual competition, two are seeded. World Juniors veteran Casey Wong enters the tournament as a 9/12 seed, while thirteen-year-old U.S. junior champion Marina Stefanoni is a 13/16 seed.
Haley Scott returns to the World Juniors to compete in her second individual competition. Mariam Kamal and Grace Doyle both make their World Juniors debut.
Both the junior men’s and women’s squads are more than prepared for the tournament according to Junior men’s head coach Adam Hamill.
“The teams have worked incredibly hard over the last few months, ” Hamill said. “The national squads are always a great experience for the coaches and players, getting to work together and map out a plan for the summer is extremely beneficial. Developing a rapport with the team is essential to our success at the World Junior Championships. Working with Zarett rehab and fitness has been a great addition to our preparation, the fitness test results were instrumental in steering our training programs in the right direction.”
Team USA’s best Men’s World Junior Team Championship finish came in 2002 with a seventh place finish in India.
“The junior men’s team and come together in a special way, organizing extra training sessions with each other outside of the national squads and supporting each other along the way. This team is very hungry for success, we’re excited to be in Poland and see how far we have all come. We have a very strong team, they’ve done everything asked of them in preparation, everyone is anxious to just start playing. Team USA has proved in recent years that they are serious competitors at every level of competition. This event is another opportunity to build on this reputation and take it to the next level.”
Match play begins at 10am local time, 4am ET.
Follow @TeamUSASquash on twitter for updates throughout the tournament.