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James & Whitlock Celebrate English Pioneer Double

Pioneer Junior Open Squash Championships, Cologne, Germany

James & Whitlock Celebrate English Pioneer Double

Declan James and Emily Whitlock celebrated a rare English double in the U19 finals of the Pioneer Junior Open Squash Championships, the long-established European Squash Federation Super Series Junior Circuit event at the ACR Sportcenter in Cologne, Germany.

James, the 18-year-old favourite, comfortably reached the men's final without dropping a game - as did his opponent Tom de Mulder, the 18-year-old No2 seed from Belgium.

But Nottingham-born James, who beat the Belgian in the final of the German Junior U19 Open in March in four games, went one better in Cologne by despatching De Mulder 11-3, 11-8, 11-9.

The win will be a confidence-booster for the Englishman on the eve of the WSF World Junior Championship later this month in Belgium. James is a 5/8 seed - in the opposite half of the draw from 9/16 seed De Mulder.

With the English, French and European Junior titles to her credit already this year, Emily Whitlock came to Cologne as firm favourite for the women's Pioneer trophy. And the 17-year-old from Colwyn Bay in Wales did not disappoint - romping through to the final after the loss of just 32 points in four rounds.

But her opponent Maria Elena Ubina had battled through to the climax unseeded, after stunning upsets over the sixth and seventh seeds - and England's No2 seed Brogan Lane in the quarter-finals.

European champion Whitlock was too strong for Ubina in the final, however, beating the New York-born 16-year-old 11-6, 11-4, 11-5.

Whitlock too will be boosted by her win as she looks forward to making her debut in the WSF Women's World Junior Championship later this month at Harvard University in Boston, USA, where she is seeded to make the last eight.

Men's U19 quarter-finals:
[1] Declan James (ENG) bt [5/8] Tom Ford (ENG) 11-7, 13-11, 11-8
[4] Michael McCue (CAN) bt Daniel Hockborn (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7
[3] Jerome Dadot (FRA) bt [5/8] Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL) 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8
[2] Tom de Mulder (BEL) bt [5/8] Valentin Rapp (GER) 11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9

[1] Declan James (ENG) bt [4] Michael McCue (CAN) 11-4, 11-3, 11-7
[2] Tom de Mulder (BEL) bt [3] Jerome Dadot (FRA) 11-5, 11-6, 11-9

[1] Declan James (ENG) bt [2] Tom de Mulder (BEL) 11-3, 11-8, 11-9
Third place play-off:
[3] Jerome Dadot (FRA) bt [4] Michael McCue (CAN) 14-16, 11-4, 11-4, 11-6

Women's U19 quarter-finals:
[1] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt [8] Enora Villard (FRA) 11-1, 11-5, 11-2
[5] Hannah Williams (ENG) bt [4] Tereza Svobodova (CZE) 13-11, 6-11, 3-11, 11-5, 11-9
[6] Elvira Bedjai (FRA) bt [3] Oxane Ah Hu (FRA) 3-11, 16-14, 11-8, 11-9
Maria Elena Ubina (USA) bt [2] Brogan Lane (ENG) 11-8, 11-9, 11-2

[1] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt [5] Hannah Williams (ENG) 11-4, 11-2, 11-3
Maria Elena Ubina (USA) bt [6] Elvira Bedjai (FRA) 11-8, 11-5, 11-5

[1] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt Maria Elena Ubina (USA) 11-6, 11-4, 11-5

Third place play-off:
[5] Hannah Williams (ENG) bt [6] Elvira Bedjai (FRA) 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5