A record 951 players will compete in the 2016 World Masters Squash
Championships in South Africa this month, according to the draws for
the events published by the World Squash Federation.
The biennial event, launched in 1983, will take place in
Johannesburg from 24-30 September - featuring 19 men's and women's
events, from Over-35 to Over-80.
The main venues will be The Wanderers Club and the Parkview Squash
Centre, with additional venues added to deal with the record entry.
Title success is expected to be spread across 10 nations, with
England and hosts South Africa predicted to win four gold medals
each - Englishman Adrian Wright, the top men's O75 seed going for a
fourth World Masters title and compatriot Ann Manley, the women's
O75 favourite, bidding for a third.
South African Craig van der Wath, top seed in the men's O50 event,
has his sights on a fifth World Masters gold medal, whilst his
partner Angie Clifton-Parks is bidding for a third crown.
Egypt, such prolific winners, have former world No.13 Mohammed Abbas
installed as hot favourite for the men's O35 event.
Five-time world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald leads the Australian
charge in Johannesburg, seeded to retain her O45 trophy and collect
a third World Masters title.
Meanwhile, former world number one Natalie Grainger is strong
favourite to retain the women's O35 title she won last time in Hong
Kong, while her father Chris Grainger is second seed in the men's
O65 category and mother Jean Grainger will be bidding to defend her
women's O70 title from a position of fourth seed.
Australia will be looking to build on its strong performance in
Masters Squash when it sends several dozen players to South Africa
for the 2016 World Championships later this month, reports
in the squad will be former World number one,Sarah
Fitz-Gerald, and several former World Masters title
From the very first World Masters in 1976, whenMal
menís over 45 title, Australia has been easily the most successful
Australia has won30
menís titles and 28 womenís, its 58 titles are comfortably
ahead of Englandís 49 and South Africaís 39 crowns.
Included in this yearís squad will beBrian
Cook, who won his first ever World Masters Title in the
over 45 division in 1995, and has since gone on to win titles in
2005 (55+), 2008 (60+), and 2014 (65+).
Cook will be the top seed in the menís 65+ as he chases his fifth
World Masters title.
biggest names in Australian womenís squash have won World Masters
Of those only Fitz-Gerald will be competing this year, and having
won the 45+ division in Hong Kong in 2015, will look to defend that
title in Johannesburg.
Australiaís oldest competitors this year will beKevin
Zilmer, all competing in the menís 75-79 age division.
Australiaís oldest female competitors will be in the 65-69 age
Also in this yearís squad will be the husband and wife combination
and Maurice Tait.
The World Masters Championships have attracted almost 1,000 players
from throughout the world, and will be contested in Johannesburg
from September 24-30.