Wanaka Squash Club’s annual Queen’s Birthday open tournament this weekend has drawn the strongest male field in the club’s 40 year history.
New Zealand team members and brothers Lwamba Chileshe and Temwa Chileshe, of Auckland, have entered, alongside experienced former Otago representative player Oliver Johnston, now living in Christchurch.
Nationally, Lwamba is ranked second, Temwa fourth and Oliver sixth.
Wanaka Squash Club president Tony Johnston said the entries were ‘‘very exciting news’’ for the sport in Central Otago.
‘‘They have recently returned from playing professionally in England and will be in top form,’’ Tony Johnston said.
His son, Oliver Johnston, formerly of Dunedin, played at a top level in New Zealand as a junior.
Oliver Johnston decided against a professional squash career after a back injury, took up coaching, and now works as an accountant.
The Chileshes have just returned from playing professionally in England, will stay with their grandfather Hugh Derham in Cromwell, and are also scheduled to provide coaching clinics in Cromwell.
Mr Johnston said the Chileshes were in peak fitness and ‘‘playing remarkably’’.
The women’s open features promising New Zealand junior Grace Hymers as number one seed and Lowri Waugh seeded second.
Tournament semifinals will be held on Saturday afternoon and finals on Sunday afternoon.