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INSIDE THE TEAMS, EPISODE 4: WHY NOT DREAM BIG

The Women’s World Team Championship – which starts in less than two weeks in Paris – is not only about title holders England, or Egypt and their three players in the world top 4. There are smaller nations who haven’t made the top 10 for a long time (in fact, never for most of them). Nevertheless they will fight as hard as any other team to create some upsets and climb in the rankings. Today we focus on Germany, Mexico, Spain, Japan and Austria.

GERMANY

Unlike the four other countries, Germany was once a major player in women’s squash, finishing in the top 8 in the WWTC between 1987 and 2000, and clinching numerous silver medals in Europe behind unbeatable England. This success was strongly related to Sabine Schoene, by far the best German female player ever (she reached a highest world ranking of 6 in 1997) and times have been more difficult since her retirement. Like two years ago in Canada, Germany will be led by Sina Wall, their only player who plays on the PSA World Tour on a regular basis.

TEAM FACTS

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Germany’s result in 2014 in WWTC

Fifteenth

Germany’s best result in WWTC

Fourth in 1989 and 1990

PLAYERS’ FACTS

SINA WALL

26 years old … #63 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 41 in December 2011 and March 2012  … 2016 Edinburgh Open runner-up … 2011 and 2015 German Nationals Champion … 2008 German Junior Open Champion … 2008 Belgium Junior Open Champion … 2006 European Junior U19 Team Champion and European Junior U17 Team Champion … Played for Germany in the 2008 and 2014 Women’s World Team Championships.

SHARON SINCLAIR

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Photo credit: www.fnp.de

25 years old … #196 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 186 in August and September 2016 … 2016 German Nationals Champion … 2005 European Junior U15 Team Championship runner-up.

FRANZISKA HENNES

24 years old … Highest world ranking 105 in May 2014 … … 2009 European Junior U19 Team Champion … 2013 and 2014 German Nationals champion … Played for Germany in the 2012 and 2014 Women’s World Team Championships.

SASKIA BEINHARD

17 years old … 2015 German Junior Open semi finalist.

More info on

https://dsqv.de/

JAPAN

Japan did not participate two years ago in Canada and make their return this year. Their number 1 is Misaki Kobayashi, higher ranked female Japanese player of all times. The rest of the team is very young, but watch for Satomi Watanabe: the 17-year old – based in Penang, Malaysia – was runner-up in this year’s Asian Junior Championship and has already beaten a few players ranked in the top 100.

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Photo credit: squashmad

TEAM FACTS

Japan’s result in 2014 in WWTC

Did not participate

Japan’s best result in WWTC

Twelfth in 2008

PLAYERS’ FACTS

MISAKI KOBAYASHI

26 years old … #38 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 29 in January 2014 … 8 titles on the professional tour … 7 times Japanese Nationals champion … Played for Japan in the 2008, 2010 and 2012 Women’s World Team Championships.

SATOMI WATANABE

japan-photo-2

Photo credit: squashmad

17 years old … #138 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 103 in June and July 2015 … 2016 Asian Junior Open Championship runner-up … 2016 Hong-Kong Junior Open Champion … 2015 US Junior Open Champion.

MAMI SAKAI

18 years old … 2016 Hong-Kong Junior Open semi-finalist.

RISA SUGIMOTO

22 years old … 2016 East Asian Championship runner-up … 2010 Scottish Junior Open runner-up … Played for Japan in the 2012 Women’s World Team Championship.

More info on

http://www.squash-japan.org/english-page/

SPAIN

Spain may be the only team in the event with no player in the world top 100 but numbers don’t tell the whole story. Their number 1, 30 year-old Xisela Aranda, may have never reached the top 100 but she’s often beaten much higher ranked players in previous team events and in the very few PSA tournaments she’s played (she runs her own company – TopGame and is a speaker in leadership). 18 year-old Cristina Gomez hasn’t made her debut on the senior tour yet but she’s won four European junior tournaments in the last 12 months and as a result climbed on top of the rankings. She came close to beat France’s Laura Pomportes in a recent French League match. Most of the Spanish girls have been together in the team for a long time and will be coached by former teammate Margaux Pitarch.

TEAM FACTS

spain-photo-1

Spain’s result in 2014 in WWTC

Seventeenth

Spain’s best result in WWTC

Thirteenth in 1996

PLAYERS’ FACTS

XISELA ARANDA

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30 years old … #160 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 137 in October 2016 … 7 times Spanish Nationals champion … Played for Spain in the 2008, 2012 and 2014 Women’s World Team Championships.

MARTA LATORRE

23 years old … #180 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 173 in May 2016 … 2013 and 2015 Spanish Nationals semi-finalist.

MARINA JUAN DE GALLACH

22 years old … #187 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 129 in June 2015 … 2013 and 2015 Spanish Nationals semi-finalist … Played for Spain in the 2012 and 2014 Women’s World Team Championships.

CRISTINA GOMEZ

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18 years old … #237 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 215 in July 2016 … #1 in the European junior rankings … #3 in the World junior rankings … 2016 Belgium, Nordic and French Junior Open Champion … 2015 Swiss Junior Open Champion … 2014, 2015 and 2016 Spanish Nationals runner-up … Played for Spain in the 2012 and 2014 Women’s World Team Championships.

More info on

http://www.realfederaciondesquash.com/

AUSTRIA

It will be Austria’s eighth consecutive participation and they will try and improve their best result of sixteenth. They will count on the experience Birgit Coufal, who’s been a member of the top 100 for almost 10 years. The 31-year has led her team in the eight campaigns.

TEAM FACTS

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Austria’s result in 2014 in WWTC

Nineteenth

Austria’s best result in WWTC

Sixteenth in 2006 and 2010

PLAYERS’ FACTS

BIRGIT COUFAL

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31 years old … #85 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 52 in June-August 2013 … 8 titles on the professional tour … 10 times Austrian Nationals champion … 2001, 2002 and 2004 Austrian Junior Open Champion … Played for Austria in the 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 Women’s World Team Championships.

SANDRA POLAK

25 years old … #237 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 103 in October 2011 … 2009 Austrian and Italian Junior Open Champion … Played for Austria in the 2008 and 2010 Women’s World Team Championships.

SABRINA REHMAN

23 years old … Highest world ranking 186 in April 2012 … 2016 Austrian Nationals runner-up… Played for Austria in the 2010 Women’s World Team Championship.

JUDITH VAN DER MERWE

37 years old … 2016 Austrian Nationals quarter-finalist.

More info on

http://www.squash.or.at/

MEXICO

The Mexican team is a combination of experience and youth. They will be led by 35-year old Samantha Teran, semi-finalist of the World Championship in 2011. Nayelli Hernandez, who now works as a coach in the US alongside former world number 1 Natalie Grainger, won the Pan American Games Doubles Championship with Teran. The team is completed by Diana Garcia and new addition 20 year-old Sarah Lopez.

TEAM FACTS

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Mexico’s result in 2014 in WWTC

Thirteenth

Mexico’s best result in WWTC

Thirteenth in 2014

PLAYERS’ FACTS

***Breaking news: Mexico will have to do without their number 1 Samantha Teran because of injury. She is replaced by 15 year-old Dina Anguiano Gomez, who will be the youngest player in the tournament.

SAMANTHA TERAN

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35 years old … #35 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 11 in May 2010 … 16 titles on the professional tour (out of 20 finals) … 2011 World Championship semi-finalist … 6 times Pan American Champion … 2011 Pan American Games Champion … 2011 Pan American Games Doubles Champion … 2008 Pan American Team Championship runner-up … Played for Mexico in the 2010, 2012 and 2014 Women’s World Team Championships.

NAYELLI HERNANDEZ

30 years old … Highest world ranking 57 in October 2011 … 2008 and 2014 Pan American Doubles Champion … 2011 Pan American Games Doubles Champion … Played for Mexico in the 2010, 2012 and 2014 Women’s World Team Championships.

DIANA GARCIA

23 years old … #115 in the world (November 2016) … Highest world ranking 77 in May 2014 … 2016 Pan American Team Championship runner-up … 2012 Pan American Champion … 2011 Canadian Junior Open Champion … Played for Mexico in the 2014 Women’s World Team Championship.

SARAH LOPEZ

20 years old … 2016 Pan American Doubles Championship runner-up … 2016 Pan American Team Championship runner-up … 2013 and 2014 Canadian Junior Open semi-finalist …

More info on

http://squash.com.mx/

Source: www.squashinfo.com

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