12:13 am
14 Jun 2024

ATCO Super Series Finals To Add Momentum To Squash's 2016 Olympic Campaign

11 Mar 2009

Organisers of the campaign to make Squash an Olympic sport believe the ATCO Super Series Finals will be another great showcase for the sport which will help their efforts to be included in the Games succeed.

Squash is among seven sports competing to be included on the programme in 2016.

The ATCO Super Series Finals event is a major squash tournament to be held before senior members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meet to decide on up to two sports which might receive their endorsement.

Former world No1 Lee Beachill, COO of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and Squash 2016 bid team member, said that meant the competition, which takes place this weekend at London's prestigious Queen's Club, assumed even greater significance than usual.

And he promised that the tournament would illustrate how the 2016 Games would benefit from the sport's ability to generate intense competition of rich appeal to spectators.

"The ATCO Super Series Finals is one of our sport's premier events and an example of the men's game at its best. All high-profile events are important for the sport in the build-up to the October vote.

"We will have the world's very best squash players producing top-level competition in front of capacity crowds - something we are convinced any Olympic host will want to offer spectators."

The World Squash Federation (WSF) has already submitted its proposal to the IOC as to why it believes the sport should be in the 2016 Olympic Games programme.

The IOC's Executive Board is due to meet in June to consider the bids of the seven sports vying for up to two places on the roster of events for those Games. Its recommendations will then be put to a vote of the entire IOC membership in October at the same session which will choose whether Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, Chicago or Madrid should be the 2016 host city.

Beachill said that the Queen's Club event would showcase the best elements of the game of squash, which is played in 175 countries by over 20 million people worldwide.

He stressed that the sport's commitment to the IOC was indicated by the fact that the world's best players, including those taking part in the ATCO Super Series Finals, had all pledged to compete in 2016 if selected.

Ziad Al-Turki, Vice-Chairman of the ATCO Group and chairman of the PSA, said he was confident the tournament would provide the best possible platform for squash to realise its Olympic dream.

"Everyone who loves sport loves the Olympic Games and the celebration of the highest level of competition it represents. We believe that the ability of our sport's top players and the appeal it possesses mean that squash would sit perfectly alongside the other disciplines on the Olympic programme.

"As the ATCO Super Series Finals feature the best squash players in the world competing this year for the first time in the truly special surroundings of Queen's Club, I am sure we will be able to show the very best that our sport has to offer."