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HONG KONG

The Women’s World Team Championship starts on Sunday with the opening ceremony. Our presentation of the nations who will be competing in Paris continues today with Hong Kong, who made history reaching the semi-finals two years ago. They may not be the highest-profile team, but their opponents never fail to quote them as a potential threat.

Two years ago, Annie Au and her teammates had a fantastic World Team Championship in Canada. I the space of two days, they beat France to top their pool and then the United States in the semi-finals, reaching the top 4 for the first time. “We’ve made history, had said team coach Rebecca Chiu at the time. I’m so happy and it’s great for Hong Kong squash. Our seeding helped, but all the players have played really well, some better than we expected. We are still a young team and we have won some big matches this week.

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The squad will be exactly the same in Paris, still led by Chiu (former world number 13 and who’s played in six WWTCs). “We do hope to get to top 4 this time again but it will depend on team seeding, she said to us before the draw. I can see Egypt, England, France and Malaysia being very strong as usual. So we will try our best each match and hope we have some luck like last time!” Hong Kong’s success is of course not based on luck but rather on its strength in depth and the consistency of their players: they are the only team besides Egypt and England which boasts four players in the top 50. In fact, they have a perfectly suited team for such an event. Former world number 6 Annie Au can cause trouble to top players on a good day, while Joey Chan had won all her matches two years ago, including against England’s Alison Waters in the semis. Liu Tsz-Ling has made constant progress over the last couple of years and is now edging to top 25, and Tong-Tsz Wing is a solid reserve.

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They’ll need all their assets in the rematch against France, in what’s likely to be the decisive match in pool D, as well as one the highlights of the group stage.

TEAM FACTS

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Hong Kong’s result in 2014 WWTC

Fourth

Hong Kong’s WWTC best result

Fourth in 2014

PLAYER FACTS

ANNIE AU

27 years old … #11 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 6 from May to October 2012 … Won 12 titles on the professional tour … 2012 Kuala Lumpur Open runner-up (World Series) … 4 times Hong Nationals Champion … 2005 World Junior Team Champion … 2007 Asian Junior Champion … 2008 British Junior Open runner-up … 2013 Asian Champion … 2010 Asian Games Team and Asian Games runner-up … 2010 Asian Team Champion … 2009 East Asian Games Doubles Champion … 2009 East Asian Games Team Champion … 2010 World University Champion … 2010 World University Team Championship runner-up … Played for Hong Kong in the 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2014 Women’s World Team Championships.

JOEY CHAN

28 years old … #20 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 16 in May 2012 … Won 6 titles on the professional tour … 2011 Kuala Lumpur Open, 2011 and 2014 Hong Kong Open runner-up (World Series) … 3 times Hong Nationals Champion … 2005 World Junior Team Champion … 2007 Asian Junior Championship runner-up … 2007 Asian Junior Team Champion … 2010 Asian Team Champion … 2009 East Asian Games Doubles Champion … 2009 East Asian Games Team Champion … Played for Hong Kong in the 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2014 Women’s World Team Championships.

LIU TSZ-LING

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Photo credit: fotop.net

25 years old … #29 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 28 from September to October 2016 … Won 10 titles on the professional tour … 2009 World Junior Team Championship runner-up … 2014 and 2016 Asian Team Championship runner-up … 2016 East Asian Champion … Played for Hong Kong in the 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 Women’s World Team Championships.

TONG TSZ-WING

24 years old … #43 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 42 in June and September 2014 … Won 5 titles on the professional tour … 2009 World Junior Team Championship runner-up … 2011 Asian Junior Championship runner-up … 2011 Asian Junior Team Champion … 2012 and 2014 Asian Team Championship runner-up … 2016 World University Championship runner-up … 2016 World University Championship runner-up … Played for Hong Kong in the 2012 and 2014 Women’s World Team Championships.

Source: www.squashinfo.com

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