A record 951 players will compete in the 2016 World Masters Squash Championships in South Africa this month, according to the draws for the events published by the World Squash Federation.
The biennial event, launched in 1983, will take place in Johannesburg from 24-30 September – featuring 19 men’s and women’s events, from Over-35 to Over-80.
The main venues will be The Wanderers Club and the Parkview Squash Centre, with additional venues added to deal with the record entry.
Title success is expected to be spread across 10 nations, with England and hosts South Africa predicted to win four gold medals each – Englishman Adrian Wright, the top men’s O75 seed going for a fourth World Masters title and compatriot Ann Manley, the women’s O75 favourite, bidding for a third. South African Craig van der Wath, top seed in the men’s O50 event, has his sights on a fifth World Masters gold medal, whilst his partner Angie Clifton-Parks is bidding for a third crown.
Egypt, such prolific winners, have former world No.13 Mohammed Abbas installed as hot favourite for the men’s O35 event.
Five-time world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald leads the Australian charge in Johannesburg, seeded to retain her O45 trophy and collect a third World Masters title.
Meanwhile, former world number one Natalie Grainger is strong favourite to retain the women’s O35 title she won last time in Hong Kong, while her father Chris Grainger is second seed in the men’s O65 category and mother Jean Grainger will be bidding to defend her women’s O70 title from a position of fourth seed.
Top World Masters seeds:
Men’s Over 35: 1 Mohammed Abbas (EGY), 2 Gary Wheadon (RSA), 3 Saurab Nayar (IND), Rowan Smith (RSA)
Men’s Over 40: 1 Rodney Durbach (RSA), 2 Adrian Hansen (RSA), Patrick Chifunda (ZAM), 4 Paul Atkinson (RSA)
Men’s Over 45: 1 Michael Tootill (RSA), 2 Nick Taylor (JEY), 3 Craig Wapnick (RSA), Christian Borgvall (SWE)
Women’s Over 35: 1 Natalie Grainger (USA), 2 Lauren Briggs (ENG), 3 Jacqueline Ryder (RSA), 4 Tracy Browne (RSA)
Women’s Over 40: 1 Karen Meakins (BAR), 2 Samantha Herbert (RSA), 3 Anlen Murray (RSA), 4 Janet Byrnes (RSA)
Women’s Over 45: 1 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (AUS), 2 Hope Prockop (USA), 3 Andrea Santamaria (ENG), 4 Linda Shannon (RSA)
Issued by Howard Harding, World Squash Federation World Media Director Howard@hhpr.co.uk |
WSQ 7851 16 September 2016