World men’s senior champion Mohamed Elshorbagy looks back on his British Junior Open (BJO) career and shares some tips for today’s aspiring juniors.
“I did really well during my junior days, but a lot of players didn’t do as well. There were some unbelievably good players who were never able to win it, like Peter Nicol, Jonathon Power and Amr Shabana.
“Yet the BJO doesn’t decide how your professional career will turn out. But you can see the potential that it can give you if you do win a title, that’s for sure.
“It will be different in Birmingham after so long in Sheffield, and I hope to be there for the finals.
“It is a great event and brings all different types of players from all over the world together. Players start here to make memories with each other – without knowing that they could last through their whole career until they reach their mid-30s.
“For example, Greg Gaultier and James Willstrop played in finals and now they are still playing together 20 years later on tour. We look back at these memories, and we think we have actually spent most of our life together.
“Any advice I would give to the juniors competing, would be that whenever I went to these top junior events, I went to learn.
“The British and World Juniors were only a step for me towards that ultimate goal and I would at least learn if I had never won a junior tile.
“The main target was never to be the best junior player in the world, it was to be the best player in the world.”
Mohamed Elshorbagy won five British Junior Open titles between 2006-2010, including three under-19 titles in a row.