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Squash: Malaysia bidding to add World Team title to Asian triumphs

World No. 1 Nicol David (right) will again lead Malaysia at the WSF Women’s World Team Championship, where second seeds England will be led by World No. 2 Laura Massaro (left). Photo: AFP.

World No. 1 Nicol David (right) will again lead Malaysia at the WSF Women’s World Team Championship, where second seeds England will be led by World No. 2 Laura Massaro (left). Photo: AFP.

November 27, 2014: Malaysia coach Peter Genever has stated that his side are targeting to at least reach the final of next week’s Shop.ca WSF Women’s World Team Championship in Ontario, Canada. The 20-nation event will be held at White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa in Niagara-on-the-Lake from December 1-6.

 

Led by World No. 1 Nicol David, Malaysia have won bronze in the last four editions of the biennial event and this time are seeded third behind defending champions Egypt and England, who won their sixth title in 2006 and have been finalists since 1994.

 

David, No. 1 since August 2006, is unbeaten in the event since 2004 and the 31-year-old will make her seventh attempt to win the event, to add to her 77 WSA World Tour titles. World No. 7 Low Wee Wern, Delia Arnold (No. 31) – winner of last week’s Penang Open – and tournament newcomer Zulhijjah Binti Azan (No. 76) are David’s teammates.

 

“Our goal is to improve on our previous best finish of third place,” Genever said. “Egypt and England are the main threats. They both have excellent players and good balance to their squads.

 

“Should we reach the semi-final, then this will probably mean beating either England or Egypt, which will be tough but a match we would be capable of winning. Likewise if we were to make it to the final then we would have a fair chance of success.”

 

Top seeds Egypt comprise World No. 3 Raneem El Welily, Nour El Sherbini (No. 4), Nour El Tayeb (No. 8) and Omneya Abdel Kawy (No. 11), while World No. 2 Laura Massaro leads a strong England team.

 

However, Malaysia’s victories in the Asian Team Championships in Hong Kong in June and the Asian Games in Incheon in September have boosted the team’s confidence.

 

“Our preparations have been good. The players have excellent team spirit and are looking forward to competing in Canada,” Genever said.

 

“I think this year’s event will be very open with lots of teams capable of doing well so we can expect some great matches and a few upsets. There are some good teams outside the top four, so we expect some tough matches throughout the event. It will be necessary to be playing well from the pool stage.”

 

Malaysia start their campaign in Pool C against hosts Canada, Mexico (both December 1), newcomers Guatemala (December 2) and sixth seeds USA (December 3). Genever will work alongside team manager Sharon Wee, the former World No. 18 who helped Malaysia win bronze in 2006, 2008 and 2010 and played with David, Low and Arnold in the 2010 Asian Games-winning team.

 

Hong Kong are seeded fourth and head Pool D, which features Asian rivals India, fifth seeds France, South Africa and Austria. China, Asia’s other representatives, are the bottom seeds in Pool A, where they will face Egypt, Ireland, New Zealand and Colombia.

 

WSF Women’s World Team Championship, Ontario, Canada

Pool A: [1] Egypt, [8] Ireland, [9] New Zealand, [13/16] Colombia, [17/20] China

Pool B: [2] England, [7] Australia, [10] Wales, [13/16] Germany, [17/20] Spain

Pool C: [3] Malaysia, [6] USA, [11] Canada, [13/16] Mexico, [17/20] Guatemala

Pool D: [4] Hong Kong China, [5] France, [12] South Africa, [13/16] India, [17/20] Austria

 

For more information, visit: wsfwomensteams.com

 

Source: WSF (www.worldsquash.org); Editing by SportAsia

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