The Day Before : Press Conference, Social Challenges, Photo Shoot

With just one day to go before the 2023 VITAGEN Singapore Squash Open gets under way, several of the top players were involved in the Press Conference and Social Challenges at the Tournament Hotel …  then this evening all the players gathered at the spectacular Jewel at the Airport (that’s at the bottom of the page)

Press Conference

First up were men’s wildcard Marcus Phua alongside squash couples Ali Farag & Nour El Tayeb and Paul Coll & Nele Gilis.

The players were quizzed on topics ranging from their experiences in and impressions of Singapore, goals for the tournament and the season, and the prospect of Squash in the LA2028 Olympics and their chances of being there – and all were enthusiastic and ambitious on all counts!

In the second briefing were six-time National Champion women’s wildcard Au Yeong Wai Yhann plus Commonwealth Games champion Gina Kennedy and top ten trio Mohamed and Marwan ElShorbagy and Diego Elias.

All were equally impressed and enthusiastic on the same counts, with Marwan sharing that the prospect of a possible meeting his brother (in the quarters) was something he now looked forward to, and last year’s runner-up Diego revealing that his birthday fell on this year’s final so hopefully he could go one better. Defending champion Mohamed wasn’t impressed tough, “hopefully not” was his response.

Social Challenges

In between the two sessions there were challenges for the two squash couples – first identifying the flavours of some of the title sponsor VITAGEN’s low sugar fruit drinks, then copying a local expert in “teh tarik”, or “pulled tea”.

They all took to it with gusto, although Nour struggled on the second pour and passed over to Ali, so Paul and Nele were declared the winners.

Jewel Photo Shoot

The Jewel is a mammoth water fountain in a shopping mall right in the middle of Changi airport’s Terminal One, which is popular as a destination in its own right, whether you’re jetting off somewhere or not !

The players involved in the Press Conferences arrived first, followed by all the other players and a good time was had by all and plenty of photos were taken!

Reception and Dinner

Last up for the day was the welcoming reception and dinner, hosted by Low Wee Wern with fabulous food from the Orchard Hotel’s Michelin star restaurant. An opening day like this is going to be hard to live up to, but all the plans are in place … stay tuned !