PSA Awards and Hall of Fame

Gohar & Elias Named PSA Players of the Season

Reigning World Champions Nouran Gohar and Diego Elias have been named as the 2023-24 PSA Players of the Season during a star-studded PSA Awards dinner held at the Book Rotunda in Birmingham, England on the eve of the British Open final.

The pair were chosen by a combination of votes from both the PSA Awards Committee and fans on the PSA World Tour website.

Gohar has won the PSA Female Player of the Season award for the third season in a row after toppling World No.1 Nour El Sherbini to claim her maiden PSA World Championships trophy last month. That was Gohar’s third successive title following wins at the El Gouna International and Black Ball Open and she took a 36% share of the vote.

That was just enough to beat El Sherbini into second. El Sherbini got 35% of the vote after winning four Platinum titles throughout the campaign. Gohar and El Sherbini will go head-to-head in tomorrow’s women’s final.

I’m very happy to be able to win for a third year in a row,” said Gohar. “It shows that you’re the best player in the world, and I think that the last couple of months have been a great success for me and I’m very happy with the way that I was playing. Winning the World Championships feels amazing, but I think it will sink in during the off season. It’s the British Open now and I want to play every match with the same intensity and the same hunger. I haven’t achieved everything I want, I want more.”

Meanwhile, Elias has won the PSA Male Player of the Season award for the first time in his career after a campaign which saw him become the first player from South America to win the PSA World Championships following last month’s triumph over Mostafa Asal in Cairo, Egypt. The Peruvian also won two further titles at the Motor City Open and Canadian Open.

Elias received 44% of the vote, narrowly beating World No.1 Ali Farag, who received 39% of the vote after winning five Platinum-level titles throughout the season.

Farag and El Sherbini did receive the the PSA Spirit of Squash awards, however. It’s the seventh time in eight years Farag has won the men’s award, while El Sherbini has picked up the award for the first time.

The award is voted for by PSA players and is presented to the players who best demonstrated true sportsmanship during the season.

Reigning World Junior Champion Amina Orfi collected the PSA Young Female Player of the Season award for the second season in succession. The 16-year-old captured her maiden PSA World Tour title at the February’s Squash on Fire Open, while in October 2023 she became the second youngest player to reach the top 20 of the PSA Women’s World Rankings having started the season ranked No.43.

Orfi’s fellow Egyptian Mostafa Asal won the PSA Young Male Player of the Season award. The 23-year-old won both the Florida Open and Black Ball Squash Open and also reached the final of the PSA World Championships last month. He will take on Farag in tomorrow’s men’s final.

England’s Jonah Bryant and Egypt’s Menna Walid have been named as the PSA Challenger Tour Players of the Season. Bryant won an impressive six titles throughout the campaign and rose from No.218 to No.69 in the rankings. Walid went from No.111 to a career-high ranking of No.65, picking up four titles along the way.

Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam won the award for PSA Moment of the Season after her incredible and emotional win over World No.3 Hania El Hammamy in the final of the London Classic, with that match also being voted as the PSA Women’s Match of the Season by fans.

Paul Coll’s epic win over Ali Farag in the Optasia Championships title decider was voted as the PSA Men’s Match of the Season. Meanwhile, Elias and Japan’s Satomi Watanabe won the PSA Men’s and Women’s Shot of the Season.

The final award of the night was the PSA Services to Squash Award, which is awarded to a player, coach or other individual involved in the game to honour an outstanding commitment and service to the sport. This year marks 50 years since the International Squash Players Association – the precursor to the PSA – was founded to govern the men’s professional game. The man at the forefront of the sport’s ascension to professionalism was the legendary Jonah Barrington and, fittingly, his impact on the game was recognised with this year’s Services to Squash Award.

Speaking in a pre-recorded message, Barrington said: “This is a complete surprise and I’m very privileged to receive it from the PSA. My whole life, it seems, has been spent very close to this very strange sport inside something that is somewhat larger than a prison cell and sometimes not as attractive with no pictures on the wall!

“But it’s been a very exciting and thrilling lifetime period. To see the way this wonderful sport has developed is also quite incredible, especially in the last 15 years, to see the way the game at the highest level, through SQUASHTV, is being shown to a much wider audience. To see what has happened over so many years is something quite amazing to me, and I will always feel that being a part of it has been a real privilege.”

The PSA Awards dinner also saw the launch of the PSA Hall of Fame as part of the 50th year celebrations. Pakistan legend Jahangir Khan – a six-time World Champion, 10-time British Open champion and winner of an unprecedented 555 matches in succession – was the first male inductee, while New Zealand’s Susan Devoy – a four-time World Champion and eight-time British Open winner – was the inaugural women’s inductee.

New Zealand’s Devoy is considered one of her nation’s finest ever athletes, with four World Championship titles and eight British Open titles to her name.

Since her retirement as a professional player, Devoy has driven change in New Zealand as Race Relations Commissioner and more recently was appointed Vice President of the World Squash Federation.

“It’s a real privilege,” said Devoy. “These awards keep the spirit of the sport alive and I’m delighted to be here with Jahangir, the greatest of all time. This man was always the ultimate gentleman and I’m so privileged to be standing beside him.”

Pakistan’s Khan has been described by some as the greatest squash player of all time and is sporting royalty in his home nation. A five-time World Champion and Emiritus President of the World Squash Federation, Khan’s famed 555 match winning run has been recorded by Guinness World Records.

Khan said: “It’s an honour. You play for many years and receive many awards, but something like this is recognition for your hard work and for what you have done for the game as well. It’s an incredibly big privilege.”

PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “Susan and Jahangir are two of the finest players ever to play the sport and we’re thrilled to recognise their achievements by making them the first the players to be inducted into the PSA Hall of Fame.

“What Susan and Jahangir have achieved in the sport is incredible and we are pleased to have had the opportunity to celebrate their legacy.”

PSA Awards 2023/24 Season

PSA Male Player of the Season :
Winner: Diego Elias (PER), Runner-Up: Ali Farag (EGY)
PSA Female Player of the Season :
Winner: Nouran Gohar (EGY), Runner-Up: Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
PSA Male Young Player of the Season :
Winner: Mostafa Asal (EGY), Runner-Up: Mohamad Zakaria (EGY)
PSA Female Young Player of the Season :
Winner: Amina Orfi (EGY), Runner-Up: Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY)
PSA Challenger Tour Male Player of the Season:
Winner: Jonah Bryant (ENG), Runner-Up: Mohamad Zakaria (EGY)
PSA Challenger Tour Female Player of the Season :
Winner: Menna Walid (EGY), Runner-Up: Marina Stefanoni (USA)
PSA Men’s Spirit of Squash Award : Winner: Ali Farag (EGY)
PSA Women’s Spirit of Squash Award : Winner: Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
PSA Men’s Match of the Season :
Paul Coll (NZL) 3-2 Ali Farag (EGY) – 2024 Optasia Championships Final
PSA Women’s Match of the Season :
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-2 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) – 2024 London Classic Final
PSA Men’s Shot of the Season : Diego Elias (PER)
PSA Women’s Shot of the Season : Satomi Watanabe (JPN)
PSA Moment of the Season :
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) – winning the London Classic final after beating three of the world’s top four
PSA Services to Squash Award : Jonah Barrington