After 2012, France will host the Women’s World Team Championship for the second time. Seventeen countries, representing the five continents, will battle from the 27th November from the 3rd of December in Paris. Three months before the start of the competition, we give you a quick overview of the main teams involved.
THE FAVORITES …
With four players among the top 7 in the world (El Sherbini, El Welily, Gohar, Abdel Kawy), Egypt will be very difficult to beat. Let’s not forget Nour El Tayeb – #5 in 2015 before a serious shoulder injury and who hasn’t lost a match in three WWTCs. The Egyptian coach will face a tough decision to select his squad! Their main rivals will be England, title holders and who’ve been in the top 3 in the 19 championships. They will rely on the experience of #2 in the world Laura Massaro, as well as Alison Waters’, who won the deciding match in the finals two years ago in Canada.
THE UNDERDOGS …
Malaysia upset Egypt in the last WWTC semi-finals, but it will be hard to match this performance: Nicol David lost her number 1 spot after 109 consecutive months on the throne, and Low Wee Wern is struggling to get back to her best after a serious knee injury. Nevertheless they will still be solid podium contenders. Coming 4th in 2014, Hong Kong will look to clinch a first medal in their history, thanks to a very solid team led by Annie Au. France are also aiming for the top 3 at home. To do so, Les Bleues will of course rely on their leader Camille Serme, with the help of Coline Aumard who’s just broken into the top 25. India rest their hopes on Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal, very successful in team events. Let’s not rule out the United States with Amanda Sobhy and Olivia Blatchford. And perhaps also Natalie Grainger, former world number 1 who’s been coming out of retirement a few times for the WWTC… Even if they no longer dominate women’s squash like they used to (nine times world team champions), Australia can still count on experienced Rachel Grinham and Donna Urquhart to trouble the odds.
Photo credit: sports.ndtv.com
AND THE OTHERS
Joelle King may be back to her best after an injury but New Zealand don’t have any other player in the top 50. As far as United Kingdom is concerned, Ireland will not participate for the first time in its history, but Wales and their number 1 Tesni Evans will look to continue their rise (15th in 2012 and 9th in 2014). We’ll also have an eye on the Netherlands and their veteran Natalie Grinham, as well as the young Team Canada.
Photo credit: EuroSquash2016