A WISPA RELEASE:

Cayman Islands Go Gold For WISPA

An increase in the prize fund has led to the 2010 Women’s Cayman Islands Squash Open going Gold, according to an announcement today by the Women’s International Squash Players’ Association.

The $55,300 WISPA World Tour event – the third Gold event of the year, from 11-17 April – will be staged for the first time on an all-glass court erected at Camana Bay, a 500-acre shopping, entertainment, office and residential complex stretching from the Caribbean sea to the North Sound in Grand Cayman.

Launched in 2009, the Cayman Islands Open has again attracted the world’s top players, led by Malaysia’s world number one Nicol David, with Natalie Grainger, in-form Jenny Duncalf, and contenders Rachael Grinham and Alison Waters all in the mix. Grainger will be making her return to the WISPA Tour in Grand Cayman after a seven-month layoff with a foot injury.

Indeed, the draw predicts a quarter-final meeting between David and Grainger – a repeat of last year’s final, won by the Malaysian!

Meanwhile, Cayman number one Marlene West, the main draw wild card, faces the daunting prospect of meeting 2007 world champion Rachael Grinham in the opening round.

Tournament Director Dan Kneipp is delighted to be welcoming back the sport’s top women: “The Cayman Islands National Squash Association is extremely excited to host the world’s best players to our Caribbean Island.

“We are very pleased to be able to increase our WISPA World Tour championship to the Gold level. Cayman has never seen a pro tournament played on a glass show court, so we know that there will be a lot of enthusiasm and public interest as this is set up on the waterfront at Camana Bay.

“Having eight of the world’s top 10 squash players is creating an enormous buzz in Cayman as we prepare to watch the world’s best competing for our international title.

“The WISPA pros were a huge asset to our junior squash last year, helping hundreds of kids experience the sport for the first time,” Kneipp added. “We again have 14 schools that will be doing workshops and watching the pro matches and we expect this to be an invaluable tool in helping us get more Caymanian juniors into squash.

“The Cayman Islands National Squash Association also sees this as an incredible experience for our Commonwealth Games team as we prepare for Delhi 2010. For a young, amateur team to be playing alongside the world’s best professional will only add to our team’s experience and ability to compete at an international level.

“We welcome the world’s best players and the international squash media to the Cayman Islands in April.”

WISPA CEO Andrew Shelley added: “It is always very satisfying to see an event build, and that is certainly the case with the Cayman Islands Open. The debut last year was memorable for being awash with local school children trying squash at the South Sound Squash Club every day.

“This year juniors will doubtless be a major feature again, but bringing in a glass show court too in the superb outside setting of Camana Bay will be yet another great step forward in raising the profile of squash on the Island and pushing the delights of the Cayman Islands to squash enthusiasts worldwide.”

An all-glass court to be erected at Camana Bay

1st round draw:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) v Qualifier

[6] Natalie Grainger (USA) v Qualifier

[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Marlene West (CAY)

[5] Madeline Perry (IRL) v Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL)

[8] Kasey Brown (AUS) v Samantha Teran (MEX)

[4] Alison Waters (ENG) v Qualifier

[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Qualifier

[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Camille Serme (FRA)


World Team Championship Underway In New Zealand

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The 17th Women’s World Team Squash Championship is officially underway after today’s opening ceremony at the International Pacific College (IPC) in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Players and officials from the 16 competing countries have been treated to a unique cultural experience, in a city now being dubbed the Squash Capital of New Zealand.

Blazing pois, a traditional Maori kapa haka group and a melodious performance of the New Zealand national anthem by the Manawatunes highlighted the ceremony, although the best was saved for last with the IPC drummers providing a dramatic climax to the proceedings.

France’s Isabelle Stoehr had earlier provided her own impromptu entertainment, breaking into the cancan as the French team were accompanied onto the court by the famous chorus line tune, while the South African team were all smiles as they marched in to the beat of Hakuna Matata.

However, the loudest applause was saved for the New Zealand quartet of Jaclyn HawkesJoelle KingShelley Kitchen and Tamsyn Leevey, who strolled onto the court to the iconic kiwi song Slice of Heaven.

The ceremony over, the players now turn their attention to the court, with the first round of pool play underway tomorrow.

Despite the last-minute withdrawal of squad number two Alison Waters through injury, England retain their top seeding.

Championship Technical Director Manan Mashruwala announced that there will be no resultant change to the seedings, as per the World Squash Federation rules. He says England remains one of the top four teams at the event, and under WSF regulations, if the team affected does not drop outside the top four, the status quo remains.

1st qualifying round:

Pool A:
[1] ENGLAND v [9] USA
[8] NETHERLANDS v [16] AUSTRIA

Pool B:
[2] AUSTRALIA v [15] JAPAN
[7] IRELAND v [10] INDIA

Pool C:
[3] EGYPT v [11] SOUTH AFRICA
[6] FRANCE v [14] MEXICO

Pool D:
[4] MALAYSIA v [13] HONG KONG
[5] NEW ZEALAND v [12] CANADA

Official website: www.womensworldsquash2010.co.nz

For further on-site information, contact World Team Championship Media Manager Gary Denvir
+64 (0) 27 273 9446

Team information:

Australia: Rachael Grinham, Kasey Brown, Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Donna Urquhart
Austria: Birgit Coufal, Sandra Polak, Judith Gradnitzer, Sabrina Rehman
Canada: Miranda Raniero, Alexandra Norman, Stephanie Edmison, Samantha Cornett
Egypt: Omneya Abdel Kawy, Raneem El Weleily, Engy Hkeirallah, Nour El Tayeb
England: Jenny Duncalf, Laura Massaro, Tania Bailey, Sarah Kippax
France: Camille Serme, Isabelle Stoehr, Coline Aumard, Maud Duplomb
Hong Kong: Elise Ng, Liu Tsz-Ling, Carmen Lee, Karman Siu
India: Joshna Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal, Anaka Alankamony, Anwesha Reddy
Ireland: Madeline Perry, Aisling Blake, Laura Mylotte, Zoe Barr
Japan: Misaki Kobayashi, Miwa Maekawa, Yuki Sakai
Malaysia: Nicol David, Low Wee Wern, Delia Arnold, Sharon Wee
Mexico: Samantha Teran, Graciela Lopez Perez, Nayelly Hernandez, Imelda Salazar Martinez
Netherlands: Vanessa Atkinson, Annelize Naudé, Orla Noom, Milou Van Der Heijden
New Zealand: Jaclyn Hawkes, Joelle King, Shelley Kitchen, Tamsyn Leevey
South Africa: Tenille Swartz, Siyoli Waters, Milnay Louw, Cheyna Tucker
USA: Natalie Grainger, Latasha Khan, Amanda Sobhy, Olivia Blatchford

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