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FISU Squash competitor aims high on the court and in the classroom


For South African squash player Tristen Worth, life is about balance. But the weights on his scale are no easy burden to bear - a shot at becoming a professional squash player and pursuing a doctorate degree!

Born with a squash racquet in hand, Worth claims to have taken up the sport at age two as he followed his father’s interest in the sport. The King Williams Town native starting taking the sport more seriously at age 10, when his natural talent became apparent.

Ranked number 1 in South Africa at every junior level from U13 to U19 level, he enrolled into the North-West University and is currently in his second year of a Bachelor of Science degree in physiology, chemistry and biochemistry, all the while continuing his sporting passion.

"I often sacrifice a lot of sleep and every now and again I will have to sacrifice training as studies are my first priority, but generally it is not easy to balance studying with playing squash at a high level," he admits.

Often travelling hundreds of kilometres to neighbouring cities to train and compete, Worth participated in three different ranking tournaments before being selected to represent South Africa at the recent New Giza 2022 FISU World University Championship Squash in Egypt.

Ranked 265th in the world, Worth powered his way through the group stages, and earned a memorable three-set victory over French opponent Edwin Clain, ranked 157 spots above him en route to the quarter-finals and a commendable 5th place finish overall.

Off the court, the 20-year-old says he really enjoyed the tournament, and left Egypt with several lessons learned.

"I really enjoyed the experience in Egypt, the competition was very strong, there were a lot of friendly people from different nations and the tournament was well organised.

"I also knew a few people from other tournaments which I got to catch up with.

"I definitely saw that physicality is becoming a more demanding facet to squash and that mental strength is definitely a separating factor in many matches. I also found some small areas to work on in my game which is always helpful."

Back home following a solid tournament in north Africa, Worth has his mid- and long-term objectives already set out, as he looks to continue his balancing act between studies and sport.

"My goals are to work on my game in order to enter the top 150 in the world next year, as well as end in the finals of my national championships," he says.

"Long-term, I would like to give squash a go and possibly reach top 50, but I also want a PhD in Chemistry."



Posted by Fabio De Dominicis on 19 Jan, 2023.
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