12:03 pm
16 Apr 2024

Jonathon Power In World Team Championship Comeback

23 Nov 2007

Former world number one Jonathon Power will play for Canada at the 21st ICL Men's World Team Championship in Chennai, India, from 6-12 December.

"I feel I can still add a lot to the team and win some games at the team worlds," said the 33-year-old from Toronto who retired from the pro circuit last year but still competes at national championships and international events for Canada. "I've been training hard for these championships and I feel my playing is of high calibre."

Power is keeping busy these days promoting the sport across North America by holding camps and playing exhibitions. He and his wife Sita are proud parents of a nine-month old daughter. Power is also currently working on a project to build a squash academy in Toronto for potential high performance players.

"Squash Canada was thrilled that Jonathon wanted to remain an integral member of the Canadian men's squad following his retirement from pro circuit," said Linda MacPhail, executive director of the Canadian national federation. "Jonathon is a very patriotic athlete, and his desire to remain with the team was obviously warmly received by Squash Canada. He plays a strong role as both an athlete and leader on the team, and is of course enthusiastically welcomed by the international squash community."

Joining Power on the Canadian team for the Chennai championship are Shahier Razik of Toronto, who is coming off two PSA tournament wins in Canada and is ranked 25th in the world; Matthew Giuffre of Edmonton; and Shawn Delierre of Brossard, Quebec.

"I played Jonathan in an exhibition recently and he is looking very strong," said Giuffre. "It's just great that he's coming back. With him in the line-up we've increased the strength of our team."

This year's world team championship has attracted 29 countries, including the top eight ranked players in the world, headed by Amr Shabana of Egypt.

Canada, seeded sixth for the tournament, is in a pool with 11th seeds Ireland and Austria, seeded in the 17/24 bracket. Egypt, England and France are seeded one, two and three, respectively.

Canada was fourth at the last world championship in 2005 held in Islamabad, Pakistan - with Power, Razik, Giuffre and Graham Ryding of Toronto. They lost the bronze medal match to France in the playoff for third place. England beat Egypt in the final.

National men's team coach Gene Turk, of Winnipeg, believes Canada can aim for another top four finish.

"It's going to be a challenge to repeat that result," said Turk. "We'll need to get some big wins. Jonathon brings a lot of experience and gives us a great chance to win at the number one position."

Power, who won the Commonwealth Games singles gold medal in 2002 and went on to acquire 37 PSA Tour titles from 61 final appearances, first topped the world rankings in May 1999. The most successful North American squash player of all time retired from the PSA Tour in March 2006 having reclaimed the world No1 ranking - his 13th month in pole position.