Namibia readies for historic world squash showpiece

24 Jul 2014 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 24 JUL (NAMPA) - The draw for the individual men and women World Junior Squash Championships (WJSC) is out, with Namibia fielding 11 top players to compete against some of the world’s best.
Namibia was chosen to host the event in September last year and has thus far made remarkable progress. The championships are expected to attract a total of 167 credible players from across the world.
It will take place from 10 to 21 August this year at both the Wanderers Sports Club and the Klein Windhoek Squash Courts.
Namibia has six male and five female players set to battle it out in the individual event, to be followed by the Men’s World Junior Team Championships from 16 to 21 August, a historic first-ever event for Namibia.
A statement availed to Nampa by the event organiser on Thursday quotes championship director Tyc Kakehongo as saying the local organising committee is on track with the preparations, and is confident that the country will stage a successful competition.
“The excitement is high and we are looking forward to hosting the first-ever world championships teams event in our country. Despite that, the challenges are many when it comes to hosting such an event, from purchasing a new glass court and having it shipped from Austria to helping foreign nationals with visa applications and everything in between,” he added.
On the chances of Namibia making an impact on the courts, Kakehongo said it is hard to say at this stage, as only one member of the team has ever competed at world championship level.
“The level of competition is extremely high as some of the players coming for the event are full-time professionals. Our hope is that the exposure to the highest level of age group competition inspires them to excel at squash and hopefully unearth a whole new generation of top squash players for the future of our sport in Namibia,” he said.
Namibia’s finest junior men and women players will be pitted against some accomplished players on the junior world circuit.
For the junior men, Namibia has Gerhardus Lottering who will sweat it out in the opener against James Evans from England, while Dylan Marc Spencer is drawn against Mohammad Alsarraj from Jordan.
Le Hugo van Rooyen of Namibia will face Edmond Lopez from Spain, while Carel Olivier will go up against Santiago Orozco from Colombia. Diederick Bekker will face Federico Cioffi from Argentina.
Upcoming Namibian star Kyle Kriel will square it off with Colombia’s Nicolas Valderrama in his opener with a view to impress in his first-ever tournament on the world front.
In the women’s category, Nhadia Gustavo will square-off against Anandita Gupta of India, while Lida-Marie Calitz has a date with Papua New Guinea’s Lynette Vai, before Elsje van der Merwe will come in contention against Nadia Pfister of Switzerland.
Daniela Scriba has been drawn against Germany’s Nele Hatschek, while Alyssa Cummings will test Oludamnilola Oluwafemi of Nigeria.
The competing countries are host Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Peru, Nigeria, Israel, Guatemala, Finland, New Zealand, England, Argentina, France, the United States of America, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Botswana, Ireland, Spain, Colombia, Qatar, Jordan, Switzerland, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Egypt and Malaysia.