Chennai, Jul 20: India's Deepika Pallikal, ranked 48 in the world rankings, has been given the top billing in the 13th World Junior Women's Squash Championships beginning July 28. Egypt's Heba El Torky has been named the second seed.
The 16th World championship for junior men will be held concurrently as also, for the first time in the history of the event, the team championship for junior women (Aug 3-8).
At a media conference here Saturday night, Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) general secretary and World Squash Federation president N. Ramachandran said: "We are having an additional event for the first time ever. Since its inception, the world juniors have been held biennially - Junior men (Individual and team) one year, and junior women (Individual and team) the following year.
"The WSF finally accepted a proposal by India to have an annual individual event included in the WSF calendar. India was given the honour of organising the inaugural stand-alone junior championship.
"This year, it will be the world junior women's individual and team event while the boys will be an individual event only. Next year it will be the world junior men's individual and team event and the girls an individual event only. The team event remains a biennial event."
In the junior men's event, defending champion Mohamed El Shorbagy from Egypt has taken his rightful place as the No.1 seed. At 17 in the PSA ranking, Shorbagy becomes the highest ranked player to participate in a world junior championship and could become only the second player to win this title twice after Ramy Ashour.
This is not taking into consideration the fact that Jahangir Khan was a world amateur (senior) champion as a 15-year old.
Seeded second is Ivan Yuen from Malaysia for whom Chennai is a favourite hunting ground having won the Asian Junior title earlier this year. Seeded 3-4 are Karim Abdel Gawad and Andrew Wagih Shoukry both from Egypt.
The SRFI will announce its final women's squad during the individual event. This year, the Indian girls have been given an interim seeding of four behind Egypt, Malaysia and Canada.
M.S.Gill, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sport, will inaugurate the championships on July 28 and Suresh Kalmadi, President, Indian Olympic Association, will release the championship souvenir.