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First PKU Squash Open attracts a squash

Peking University, May 12, 2013: “SQUASH!” PKU Gymnasium bore witness to the first PKU Squash Open ever in history on May 11, which attracted about 30 male and 20 female student players. It is also the first formal squash tournament that PKU Squash Association has organized since its establishment in March this year.


The tournament was divided into two phases due to the large number of players registered. Firstly players were grouped into threes or fours to play round-robin matches with just one game. Then the best two players of each group, 16 male and 8 female players in total, moved on into knock-out round and drew lots to play best-of-three matches except the final, which was best-of-five. Professor He Zhongkai, tutor of PKU Squash Association and Professor Liang Yong, a senior referee of Chinese Squash Association were present to supervise the tournament, who also trained the student referees in advance.



The matches went smoothly in an exciting but friendly atmosphere. The finalists came through some tough tests and were eager to give all they had in the tantalizing showdown in the evening.


In the women’s final, Chen Yingzhen edged ahead in two very close games against Duan Wenjie due to more apposite shot selections on critical points. The former then took the third game fairly easily and won the enviable title and a squash racket bag.


The men’s final was even more intense. Facing his rival Chen Chen who had better shot quality, Gao Fan exhibited stronger mental power and refused to gave up on every point. He even resorted to splits several time to chase down a seemingly winning shot. They pushed each other to the fullest in some exciting long rallies, which triggered the audience into thunderous applause. Eventually, Gao’s efforts paid off. He managed to lead 2-1 before coming back from behind in the fourth game to claim the victory by sheer focus and persistence. A prize of squash racket made it even sweeter.


In the award ceremony, Professor He Zhongkai congratulated on the performance of players and the success of the tournament and spoke highly of the hard work the organizers had put into the preparation. He also expressed gratitude for their effort in promoting squash and urged them to carry on the good work. Afterwards, he presented the trophies and prizes to the top three and took a picture with them.



Alongside the matches, PKU Squash Association also devised four interesting squash games for the players and other participants to have fun and win small gifts, including distinguishing between different colored squash balls with eyes closed and hitting balls into a basket from a distance.



It was all but a good beginning. The backbones of PKU Squash Association said they drew a lot of experience from organizing this event and would stick to the guideline of the association — “promoting squash and serve for PKU teachers and students.” They looked forward to exposing more people to the cultures of squash and the joy of squashing.


Extended Reading: 
Let’s enjoy squash together at PKU! 


Reported by: Chen Long