1:17 pm
28 May 2024

Grinhams Beat England To Secure World Title For Australia

2 Oct 2004

Queensland sisters Rachael Grinham and Natalie Grinham clinched the Women's World Team Championship title for Australia for the eighth time in the event's history with a 2/0 victory over England in today's final at the Frans Otten Stadion in Amsterdam.

It was the eleventh time the old rivals had met in the final, with Australia seeded to beat the second seeds in the climax on the glass centre court at the impressive new 21-court complex in the Netherlands capital.

Rachael Grinham, the world No1 from Toowoomba who is based in Cairo, twice had to come from behind to overcome England's Cassie Jackman, the world No2, in the opening match. The capacity crowd was treated to squash of the highest quality as 27-year-old Grinham, the older of the two sisters, ultimately conquered Jackman 3-9 9-5 6-9 9-1 9-5 in 75 minutes.

England were unable to force the tie into a decider when Natalie Grinham, the world No4 who is based in the host city, beat the England No2 Linda Elriani 9-4 9-7 9-2 to retain the title for Australia.

Squad manager and coach Michelle Martin, who six years ago led Australia to the title in Germany, was delighted with her team's performance: "All I really had to do was convince Rachael and Natalie that they could do it, reminding them that you don't get to one and four in the world without ability."

A subdued Cassie Jackman, who was competing in the event for the first time after an eight-year absence through injury - and played her last match in the 1996 final against Martin - rued the fact that is now unlikely ever to win this crown: "I can't see myself playing this again in two years time, and I'm gutted that I've never won this title even though my team-mates have."

In the play-off for third place, sixth seeds New Zealand beat Egypt, the fourth seeds, 2-0. Victories by both the NZ No1 Shelley Kitchen and national champion Tamsyn Leevey gave the underdogs the bronze medal.

In the medal ceremony following the final, Dutch Olympic Committee Chairman Erica Terpstra congratulated squash on being selected as one of five new sports being considered for the 2012 Olympic Games. "It's such a spectacular sport and so marvellous to watch - it would truly be a pearl amongst the Olympic sports."

Hester Maaij, Alderman of the City of Amsterdam, made a special presentation from the city to the 'Player of the Championships'. The award was presented to Tenille Swartz, the 17-year-old South African No4 who was making her debut for her country at the event. Tenille won three out of her six matches whilst fully stretching the three world-ranked players to whom she lost - and resumes her school studies immediately on her return to Parys in Free State.

Malaysia secured their best ever finish after winning the battle for fifth place against hosts Netherlands. Squad No1 Nicol David prevailed 10-8 9-10 10-9 9-5 in a 57-minute top-string clash with world No3 Vanessa Atkinson to put the sixth seeds ahead, before Tricia Chuah beat Karen Kronemeyer 9-7 5-9 9-6 9-3 in the dramatic 51-minute decider.

Ireland claimed the seventh place play-off to record their best result in 14 years and USA finished in eighth place for the first time for ten years.

[1] AUSTRALIA bt [2] ENGLAND 2-0 (Rachael Grinham bt Cassie Jackman 3-9, 9-5, 6-9, 9-1, 9-5 (75m); Natalie Grinham bt Linda Elriani 9-4, 9-7, 9-2 (42m); Amelia Pittock v Fiona Geaves (dead rubber - match not played))
3rd place play-off:
[6] NEW ZEALAND bt [4] EGYPT 2-0 (Shelley Kitchen bt Omneya Abdel Kawy 9-7, 9-7, 9-2; Tamsyn Leevey bt Engy Kheirallah 9-5, 9-3, 8-10, 9-5; Louise Crome v Eman El Amir (dead rubber - match not played))
5th place play-off:
[5] MALAYSIA bt [3] NETHERLANDS 2-1 (Nicol David bt Vanessa Atkinson 10-8, 9-10, 10-9, 9-5 (57m); Sharon Wee lost to Annelize Naude 4-9, 1-9, 2-9 (33m); Tricia Chuah bt Karen Kronemeyer 9-7, 5-9, 9-6, 9-3 (51m))
7th place play-off:
[9] IRELAND bt [10] USA 2-1 (Madeline Perry bt Latasha Khan 9-2, 9-5, 9-0; Aisling Blake lost to Meredeth Quick 7-9, 8-10, 8-10; Anna McGeever bt Louisa Hall 9-2, 10-9, 9-5)
9th place play-off:
[8] CANADA bt [13] SOUTH AFRICA 2-1 (Runa Reta lost to Claire Nitch 4-9, 1-9, 7-9; Melanie Jans Burke bt Farrah Sterne 9-1, 9-6, 3-9, 9-4; Alana Miller bt Tenille Swartz 8-10, 7-9, 9-2, 9-4, 9-1)
11th place play-off:
[15] HONG KONG bt [11] BELGIUM 2-0 (Rebecca Chiu bt Kim Hannes-Teunen 9-3, 9-3, 9-0 (21m); Annie Au bt Katline Cauwels 9-3, 9-10, 9-1, 9-4 (61m); Joey Chan v Annabel Romedenne (dead rubber - match not played))
13th place play-off:
[14] DENMARK bt [7] SCOTLAND 2-0 (Ellen Petersen bt Wendy Maitland 9-5, 9-6, 9-3 (31m); Line Hansen bt Susan Dalrymple 9-1, 9-0, 9-0 (21m); Ditte Nielsen v Frania Gillen-Buchert (dead rubber - match not played))
15th place play-off:
[17] SWITZERLAND bt [12] FRANCE 2-0 (Manuela Zehnder bt Maud Duplomb 9-4, 7-9, 9-7, 9-2; Gaby Schmohl bt Celia Allamargot 9-3, 9-0, 9-6; Olivia Hauser v Soraya Renai (dead rubber - match not played))
17th - 19th place play-offs:
[16] GERMANY bt [18] JAPAN 3-0 (Karin Beriere bt Chinatsu Matsui 9-7, 9-6, 9-7; Katharina Witt bt Kozue Onizawa 9-7, 9-4, 4-9, 9-4; Carola Weiss bt Sachiko Shinta 9-1, 9-5, 4-9, 6-9, 9-4)
Final positions: 17 Germany, 18 Austria, 19 Japan