PSA World Championships

The PSA World Championships is a tournament that takes place every year and features 128 of the best squash players from around the globe. It is without a doubt the World Championship is the biggest prize within squash. It’s played for a week with the highest intensity action as they battled it out right to become World Champion.

The CIB PSA World Championships 2023/24 Egypt to Host in May

PSA World Championships

Reigning World Champions Farag & El Sherbini To Headline 2023-24 CIB PSA World Championships - (Credit: PSA World Squash Champs)

Egypt is set to host this year’s CIB PSA World Championships starting in May 9-17, where the world’s best squash players are set to feature and battle for the most prestigious prize in squash. This will mark the country’s (Egypt) 10th time hosting the sport’s biggest tournament. The event, which will include the best male and female squash players in the world, for the chance to win the biggest prize in squash; $1,150,000 in total player compensation.

Nour El Sherbini, the reigning women's champion who has won six of the previous eight Women's Championship titles, is one of the six winners from Egypt that have significantly dominated the World Championships in recent years.

The PSA World Championships Tournament History

Heather McKay Squash Player - PSA World Championships

Heather McKay - Two Time World Champion and one of Australia's Greatest Athletes (Credit:

When Did the PSA Squash World Championships Start?

The first-ever men's World Championships took place in London from January 31 to February 7th in 1976 with the first women's World Championships being held in Brisbane the same year.  The renowned Heather McKay won the first of her two titles in the same year, defeating Marion Jackman in Brisbane, Australia, marking the start of the women's World Championship. McKay was followed in success by fellow Australians Rhonda Thorne and Vicki Cardwell. In 1985, the tournament became a biennial event, and it was then that the renowned player from New Zealand, Susan Devoy, became the first player from outside Australia to win the prized cup.

A Global Championship

Since then, the competition has taken place all over the world, including in Saudi Arabi, the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, and Germany. After overcoming Mohibullah Khan of Pakistan in the championship match, Australian icon Geoff Hunt won the inaugural men's world championship title in 1976.  He retained the title for an additional three years after defeating Qamar Zaman three times; once in Canada, and twice in his home nation.

Over the next sixteen years, Pakistani athletes, particularly Jahangir and Jansher Khan, dominated the men's championship. Between them, they won all but two of the World Championship titles between 1981 and 1996. The two Khans are the most accomplished athletes to have competed in the men's World Championship; Jansher has eight titles, while Jahangir has six. These two are regarded as two of the best athletes in history. The renowned men's trophy bears the names of several of the greatest squash players in history, including Amr Shabana (4), Ramy Ashour (3), Nick Matthew (3), and Ali Farag (3). Prior to Devoy winning the two titles in 1990 and 1992, Martine Le Moignan was the first English woman to win the title. The competition then adopted an annual format after this.

Australia won in nine of the ten events which were held between 1993 and 2002. Michelle Martin's victory in 1993 signalled the beginning of a period in which Australia dominated the women's event with three titles in her name, Sarah Fitz-Gerald five and Carol Owens one title. Cassie Campion’s victory over Martin in 1999 marked the only player to end the Australian dominance of 90s, and she was first English female layer to lift the World Championships title in ten years.

The Recent History of the PSA World Championships

In the next year's, Malaysian super star Nicol David made her impact on the competition by defeating Australian Rachael Grinham to become the first World Champion in Kon Kong in 2005. The following year, she won again, this time against Grinham's younger sister, Natalia. Rachael prevailed in the 2007 Grinham sisters match climax, but David answered with an amazing five straight wins during an unmatched run of domination.

Ultimately, that ended in the 2013 edition, when Laura Massaro of England won her maiden world title in Penang after defeating Nour El Sherbini, who was eighteen at the time, in the feature match. However, El Sherbini soon retained the greatest trophy in the sports history when, at the age of 20, she overcame a two-game deficit to become the youngest women's World Champion ever, breaking the record established by Devoy thirty-one years prior. 

After that, El Sherbini established herself in the competition and won the 2016 edition after defeating her compatriot Raneem El Welily at the championships in El Gouna. However, she exacted her revenge in Manchester in 2017, where Raneem El Welily overcame El Sherbini in the final to win biggest award in the sport. Subsequently, the "Warrior Princess", as El Sherbini has become known,  has won a series of titles from 2018-2023, making her a seven-time World Champion, surpassed only by Nicol David of Malaysia.

The men's championship has also been dominated by Egyptians in recent years with Karim Abdel Gawad, Mohamed El Shorbagy, Ali Farag, and Tarek Momen securing the top four in the world rankings and sharing the spoils of the championship since 2016.

Scottish Player Representation - Greg Lobban

Greg Lobban is a professional squash player from Scotland who was born in Inverness, and in February 2019, he achieved his career high position of World No.27. Additionally, he is the first Scottish player to rank in the world's top 20 since former world number one John White. Greg and doubles partner Rory Stewart created history by winning the first squash medal for Team Scotland since 1998 at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Greg Lobban is the one of the latest athletes to enrol in Heriot-Watt University's sports scholarship programme. He wants to balance the demands of competing on the PSA World Tour with his studies for an MSc in International Sports Management. This scholarship, which is administrated by Heriot-Watt University and Oriam Scotland's Sport Performance Centre, give both professional and amateur athletes the opportunity to follow their passion for sports while pursuing a degree. "When I heard about this program and what it offers, it immediately caught my eye", Greg said. While on the scholarship, the thirty-year-old will divide his time between his responsibilities at the university, coaching squash, and training at Oriam, where his wife, Donna Lobban, is Head Coach for the Squash Programme and a three-time Commonwealth Games medallist.

For more information on the Squash Scholarship Programme here at Oriam and Heriot-Watt University get in touch with our team today.

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