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Edinburgh given glimpse of 'new Jansher Khan'

Spectators at Edinburgh's Heriot Watt University may have seen at least one future sporting great in action as Diego Elias of Peru eased to the Scottish Junior Open under-17 title yesterday.

That is certainly the view of no less an authority than Geoff Hunt, who along with Jonah Barrington was one of the trailblazers of professional squash in the 1970s, winning the World Open four times and the British Open eight times and was in Edinburgh coaching the Qatar team which included Elias's opponent, Azlan Amjad.

Hunt had seen Elias win the British Open under-17 title last week so even before yesterday's match suggested he had witnessed genius in the making.

"He reminds me of Jansher Khan in the way he moves around the court," was his ultimate tribute, referring to the Pakistani who is regarded as the sport's greatest exponent.

After taking the first game as expected, Elias dropped his tempo – and the second game – to his gutsy opponent, before upping his play once more to take the next two and the title. The promising news for Elias is that the Scottish Junior Open has acted as a springboard to greatness in the past. Nicol David triumphed in the Under-12s girl category in 1994 and has since gone on to become world No.1, winning the World Open a record seven times.

On a day of high-quality squash there were medals for two Scots as Adam Reid defeated compatriot Christopher Murphy in straight games in the boys under-13s third-place play-off, while Kirsty Lobban also picked up a bronze after beating Lowri Roberts of Wales in the girls' under-19s third-place play-off.

"The Scottish Junior Open is world-renowned and has hosted some fantastic talent over the years and this year has been no exception," John Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Squash and Racketball said. "The tournament is a fantastic insight into the future of squash. We have seen in the matches this year that there are fantastic youngsters from overseas and right here in Scotland."

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