Hong Kong Squash Open

Gender equality for Hong Kong Squash Open – for the first time, same prize money for men and women

The Hong Kong event is the last of the five elite Platinum events that run simultaneous men’s and women’s competitions to offer parity

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 October, 2018, 1:06pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 October, 2018, 10:25pm

Hong Kong’s premier international tournament will offer equal prize money to men and women for the first time next month, with organisers saying it is high time it catches up with other events on the world circuit.

The Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Open, from November 19-25, will offer a total of US$329,000 in prize money, which will be split equally between men and women.

“This is what is happening the world over, many of the top tournaments around the world are committing to equal prize money and we want to catch up,” said Emily Mak Sze-wan, executive director of the Hong Kong Squash. “All the players around the world and locally welcome that change. It is becoming more common for equal prize money in sports and it is important we do the same.”

The Hong Kong event is among the elite Platinum tournaments on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour and is one of five that runs simultaneous men’s and women’s competitions.

The other ones are the US Open, Tournament of Champions (in New York), El Gouna International (Egypt) and British Open.

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“Since merging with the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) in 2015, the PSA have been committed to achieving equality in prize money and playing opportunities for our male and female athletes, and we are pleased to see that the Hong Kong Open has joined our other Platinum tournaments in offering equal prize money,” said PSA chief executive Alex Gough.

“The Hong Kong Open is one of the longest-running tournaments on the PSA Tour and we would like to thank Hong Kong Squash for their hard work in ensuring that there will be parity in earnings for the 2018 edition.”

The defending champions from Egypt, men’s holder Mohamed El Shorbagy and women’s winner Nour El Sherbini, will return to the Hong Kong Squash Centre next month.

Hong Kong’s challenge in the men’s event will be led by Asian Games individual gold and silver medallists Leo Au Chun-ming and Max Lee Ho-yin, while Annie Au Wing-chi, Joey Chan Ho-ling and Liu Tsz-ling will play in the women’s main draw.

Malaysia’s former world number one, Nicol Davis, is also returning and has been given a bye in the first round.

Leo Au faces a tough first-round encounter against Malaysian Nafizwan Adnan, who caused a major shock at the Asian Games when he beat Max Lee in straight sets in the men’s team final. Malaysia won 2-1 to claim gold.

Fellow ninth seed Lee has a first-round bye before facing Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

In addition to the prize money, a place at the PSA World Tour Finals is also on offer, with the winners of the tournament earning a coveted berth at the season-ending event.