Hosts Seeded For Best Ever World Championships Success
21 Sep 2004
Whilst England and defending champions Australia are expected to contest the final for the eleventh time since 1981, hosts Netherlands are seeded to achieve their highest ever finish in next week's Women's World Team Championships in Amsterdam.
The 14th World Championships, featuring teams from 20 countries, will get underway at the Frans Otten Stadion in Amsterdam on Sunday 26th September. After competing in four pools, the teams will move into play-offs for the final positions - with quarter-finals on Thursday (30 September) followed by semi-finals, and the finals on Saturday 2nd October.
The third-seeded Netherlands squad will be led by Vanessa Atkinson, the world No3 from The Hague (pictured). The 28-year-old will be supported by Annelize Naude, 27, the world No23 from Amsterdam; Karen Kronemeyer, 23, the world No48 from Amsterdam; and Margriet Huisman, 20, the world No64 from Arnhem. Netherlands, who achieved a best-ever fourth place finish in 1992, head Pool C and will battle with New Zealand, Belgium, Denmark and Austria for a place in the quarter-finals.
Australia have been nominated as favourites to win the title for the eighth time since the inaugural competition in 1979. Led by world No1 Rachael Grinham, the squad will also feature Rachael's younger sister Natalie Grinham, the world No5, and Amelia Pittock and Melissa Martin, ranked 30 and 33, respectively. With Australia in Pool A are Canada, Ireland, Germany and Switzerland.
Five-times champions England, who won the title in 1989, the last time it was staged in the Netherlands, are the second seeds and will lead the action in Pool B. Remarkably, it will be England No1 Cassie Jackman's first appearance in the event since 1996 - after a series of injuries, including two back operations, ruled her out of the three events since then. The world No2 from Norfolk will be joined in the squad by Linda Elriani, 32, the world No6; Fiona Geaves, 36, the world No7; and event newcomer Jenny Duncalf, the 21-year-old world No12 from Harrogate who was born in Haarlem.
England head Pool B, with Scotland, USA, Hong Kong and Japan.
Somalia will be making their first world team championships' appearance of all-time in Amsterdam. Seeded 20, the squad will compete in Pool D with fourth seeds Egypt, and Malaysia, France and South Africa.
The full seeding list is:
 Australia,  England,  Netherlands,  Egypt,  Malaysia,  New Zealand,  Scotland,  Canada,  Ireland,  USA,  Belgium,  France,  South Africa,  Denmark,  Hong Kong,  Germany,  Switzerland,  Japan,  Austria, and  Somalia.
LATE NEWS: Somalia have been forced to withdraw from the event at the last moment as they were unable to obtain visas.