Manchester all set for squash world championships

From UK Sport
Manchester is set to welcome the best squash players from around the globe as the men’s and women’s world championships are held concurrently for the first time in the UK. The event, taking place between October 11-16, is the sixth World Championship to be supported by UK Sport’s Lottery funded World Class Events Programme in 2008.

British No1, James Willstrop, has been seeded 3 for the event. The 25-year-old former world junior champion has enjoyed a stellar 12 months having reached eight PSA Tour Finals and will go into the championships in the best form of his life.

Looking ahead to the event, Willstrop said: “It’s been a great year for me reaching eight Tour finals and hopefully I can round it off with a win in front of the home crowd. The worlds is the biggest tournament we play all year so to be playing in my home country will be one of the highlights of my career.”

Willstrop is joined by ten other British players in the men’s main draw and is set to meet Scotsman John White in the second round.

Jenny Duncalf heads the ranking for the four Brits who have been seeded in the women’s draw. Duncalf, the Dunlop British Open finalist, is seeded 5 and is joined by Alison Waters (7), Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (8) and Vicky Botwright (11). Tania Bailey, the world No7, is the only notable absentee from the draw after being forced to miss out due to a knee injury.

Clare Hartley, UK Sport’s Events Consultant, said: “We are delighted to be investing in the World Squash Championships which are the sixth and final world championships we have supported during this record year of the World Class Events Programme. Hosting the world championships will enable all the partners involved to continue building upon the legacies created as a result of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, including volunteer schemes and programmes to engage the local community.”

The fourth annual World Squash Awards will take place during the World Championships in Manchester Town Hall. The ceremony will wecome 300 guests and will include the announcement of the Male and Female Player of the Year winners.

*UK Sport is the longest standing lead sponsor of the Sports Journalists’ Association, going back more than a decade, in which the agency supports the SJA’s two prestigious annual awards events, including the presentation of a special UK Sport Award for excellence at the SJA’s Annual Sports Awards.

The SJA Annual Sports Awards are the longest established of their kind in the United Kingdom, having been first staged in 1949. The 60th SJA Sports Awards will be staged on November 26 in London.

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