Hosts Seeking Maiden World Championship Success In Cairo
29 Nov 2008
Egypt will be hoping that home advantage will give them the edge as they bid to win the title in the Women's World Team Championship for the first time in the event's 29-year history.
The 2008 Championship, at the National Stadium in Cairo from tomorrow to 6 December, is being held under the auspices of Egyptian first lady Suzanne Mubarak.
The young Egyptian squad, led 23-year-old world No8 Omneya Abdel Kawy, celebrated a best-ever second place finish in 2006 - and are seeded to meet favourites and defending champions England in a repeat of the last final in Canada.
China will make their debut in 2008 Championship which has attracted 19 nations to the Egyptian capital.
Egypt will be in action twice on the opening day - firstly taking on 10th seeds Canada, then facing Japan, the 15th seeds, in Pool B. England's opener in Pool A is against ninth seeds Hong Kong.
Only two countries participating in the 2008 championship have won the title before - England, with six victories from 12 appearances in the final since the inaugural biennial event in 1979, and seventh seeds Australia, who boast eight title triumphs.
Eighth seeds France will be without squad number one Isabelle Stoehr. The world No14, who has represented her country in six successive championships since 1996, is still recovering from a hamstring injury sustained in this month's Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open.
1st qualifying ties (on Sunday):
 ENGLAND v  HONG KONG;  FRANCE v  AUSTRIA
 AUSTRALIA v  SWITZERLAND;  EGYPT v  CANADA;  CANADA v  SWITZERLAND;  EGYPT v  JAPAN
 IRELAND v  CHINA;  NEW ZEALAND v  USA;  USA v  CHINA;  NEW ZEALAND v  ITALY
 NETHERLANDS v  GERMANY;  MALAYSIA v  SOUTH AFRICA