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Don’t be alarmed if you see Batman and Robin lurking around the Oamaru squash courts today.

They are just trying to get their hands on prizes, while holding off some villains, at the Oamaru Open, which has a heroes and villains theme.

Oamaru Squash Club president Michael Goldingham said attracting more than 100 players to the open – from Christchurch to Invercargill – was amazing and made the competition a “whole different ball game”.

As a result, the open would be played at the Tyne St courts and the Excelsior Squash Club to cater for the big entry numbers. North Otago players made up nearly quarter of the playing field, Goldingham said.

“There’s a really good selection of people from throughout the southern South Island. It will be a pretty high-class competition, actually,” Goldingham said.

The competition would be split into an eight-draw and the quality of competition, especially in the men’s draw, was tipped to be impressive.

Oamaru’s top seed, Keidah Bungard, would have some “quite stuff competition trying to retain the cup”, Goldingham said.

Bungard’s father Aaron, and fellow Oamaru player Thomas Pickles would also be at the top.

The women’s draw was not as strong as originally intended, due to some players being out with injuries, Goldingham said.

Oamaru’s top female seed Leanne Spite, who was also the open’s director, was in with a good chance, he said.

“She’s doing amazing amazing things at the moment.”

The open would have prizes for the best-dressed heroes and villains as well, he said.

The public was encouraged to watch and support the two-day competition.

Today’s session starts at 5.30pm. Tomorrow’s games get under way at 8.30am, and finish about 9pm.