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Teenage squash talent Lucy Turmel targets world number one spot

Lucy Turmel in action. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Lucy Turmel in action. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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A Suffolk student has her sights set on becoming the best squash player in the world, writes John Nice.

Lucy Turmel at Suffolk One, where she's studying. Picture: SUFFOLK ONELucy Turmel at Suffolk One, where she's studying. Picture: SUFFOLK ONE

Lucy Turmel, 18, will be competing in the British Championships at the end of this week and is already ranked 71st in the world, as well as being the British number one at under 19 level.

Having started playing as an 11-year-old, she’s risen up the ranks and has sport in her blood – dad Frank is a former pro boxer, while mum Karen was a professional showjumper.

She trains twice a day, six times a week, in both Ipswich and Manchester, fitting it around her education at Suffolk One.

She said: “My ambition is to be world number one and world champion – I hope to do that as soon as possible. That is the focus.

“I’d love to be a professional at the highest level. You can make a good living in the senior tour. The prize money for winning a tournament in Dubai was £45,000.

“When I leave college I will dedicate all of my time to this. Even now everything is dedicated to squash. What I eat, how much I sleep and train – I don’t get to do what my friends are doing as I don’t get much free time. But it’s the sacrifice I have chosen.”

The money available to players would dramatically rise if squash was to secure a spot at a future Olympic Games and there is talk of this happening at Los Angeles in 2024.

She added: “If squash got to the Olympics I’d definitely be up for the challenge.”

And Turmel is keen to get more support from the local business community to help make her dreams come true.

She said: “Any extra support would be amazing. I really think I’ve got half a chance of becoming number one in the world – you have to believe in yourself a lot. You have to believe you can beat anyone.”

After the British Championships, Turmel will be travelling to Poland to compete in a European tournament early next year and then India in July to test herself against the world’s best.

Her tutor at One is Anna Bird. She said: “Lucy is an amazing talent and we feel lucky that she chose to study with us. She carries herself incredibly well and she is very determined.

“We will do all we can to help her achieve her ambitions.”

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