1:59 am
16 Apr 2024

New Zealand Overcome Malaysians In World Championship Upset

1 Dec 2010

Shelley Kitchen celebrates her crucial success

Hosts New Zealand pulled off their third successive win in the pool stages of the Women's World Team Squash Championship by upsetting Malaysia to finish in top place in Pool D of the biennial World Squash Federation event in Palmerston North.

The fifth-seeded Kiwis beat fourth seeds Malaysia 2/1 - a crucial win which ensures that the home team have avoided playing one of the top three seeds in the quarter-finals.

Commonwealth Games star Joelle King was first on court, taking on Malaysia's world number 16 Low Wee Wern. The pressure was on the 22-year-old New Zealander to win the opening match, with world number one Nicol David expected to beat Kiwi top string Jaclyn Hawkes in the final match of the tie. King duly delivered, edging home 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9.

The onus then fell on Shelley Kitchen to seal the tie with a victory over world number 21 Delia Arnold. Kitchen, who turns 31 tomorrow - and is competing in her first international event since the birth of her daughter Amalia in February - started the celebrations early with a stunning 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 victory.

David then completed the expected victory over Hawkes, winning 11-3, 11-5, 11-5.

The later quarter-final draw saw the victorious hosts lined up against France, runners-up in Pool C. The sixth seeds secured their spot in the quarter-finals after a thrilling victory over South Africa.

A monumental third string match between Maud Duplomb and Milnay Louw was the highlight of the tie, with Duplomb twice fighting back from the death to claim victory. The French 25-year-old clawed her way back from two games down to level the scores at two-all, and then recovered from 10-7 down in the fifth to win 12-10.

Australian Sarah Fitz-Gerald celebrated her birthday in style, leading the second seeds through to the quarter-finals with a 3/0 win over Ireland. The five times world champion turns 42 today, but age proved no barrier as she crushed Ireland's Zoe Barr 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 in the final round of pool play.

It was the first of three comfortable wins for Australia, with team-mates Donna Urquhart and Rachael Grinham also winning in straight games.

Australia line up against surprise opponents USA in the quarter-finals. The ninth seeds grabbed a spot in the last eight with a surprise 2/1 win over the Netherlands, the No8 seeds. Latasha Khan and Amanda Sobhy - aged 37 and 17, respectively - picked up the all-important wins for the outsiders, while Vanessa Atkinson picked up a consolation victory for the Netherlands with a thrilling five game victory over Natalie Grainger.

Top seeds England coasted into the last eight with a 3/0 win over Austria - Laura Massaro, Sarah Kippax and Jenny Duncalf winning their matches in less than an hour of playing time.

The favourites face seventh seeds Ireland in the quarter-finals - with the winners taking on either New Zealand or France for a place in the final.

Defending champion Egypt made short work of Mexico. The third seeds warmed up for the quarter-finals with a 3/0 demolition of the Central Americans. Raneem El Weleily completed the fastest victory of the tournament to date, beating Graciela Lopez Perez in just 15 minutes.

However, it was a bad day for Japan, who lost 3/0 to India. The 15th seeds could also be a player down for their remaining ties, with Miwa Maekawa retiring with a hip injury midway through her match against Joshna Chinappa. Japan is the only team without a reserve.

There will be live streaming from the quarter-finals - via the link on the WSF site www.worldsquash.org

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] ENGLAND v [7] IRELAND
[5] NEW ZEALAND v [6] FRANCE
[3] EGYPT v [4] MALAYSIA
[2] AUSTRALIA v [9] USA

9th - 16th place play-offs:
[8] NETHERLANDS v [15] JAPAN
[13] HONG KONG v [14] MEXICO
[12] CANADA v [11] SOUTH AFRICA
[10] INDIA v [16] AUSTRIA

Official website: www.womensworldsquash2010.co.nz

For further on-site information, contact World Team Championship Media Manager Gary Denvir
Email: garyd@trn.co.nz or Tel: +64 (0) 27 273 9446

Final qualifying round - Pool A:
[1] ENGLAND bt [16] AUSTRIA 3/0
Laura Massaro bt Sandra Polak 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 (18m)
Sarah Kippax bt Sabrina Rehman 11-2, 11-4, 11-2 (16m)
Jenny Duncalf bt Birgit Coufal 11-6, 11-2, 11-1 (17m)

[9] USA bt [8] NETHERLANDS 2/1
Latasha Khan bt Annelize Naude 15-13, 11-7, 11-7 (47m)
Amanda Sobhy bt Orla Noom 6-11, 11-1, 11-5, 12-10 (34m)
Natalie Grainger lost to Vanessa Atkinson 10-12, 7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 10-12 (30m)
Final positions: 1 England, 2 USA, 3 Netherlands, 4 Austria

Pool B:
[2] AUSTRALIA bt [7] IRELAND 3/0
Sarah Fitz-Gerald bt Laura Mylotte 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (19m)
Donna Urquhart bt Zoe Barr 11-7, 11-7, 11-3 (24m)
Rachael Grinham bt Aisling Blake 11-6, 11-2, 11-6 (24m)

[10] INDIA bt [15] JAPAN 3/0
Joshna Chinappa bt Miwa Maekawa 11-3, 11-3 ret. (12m)
Anaka Alankamony bt Yuki Sakai 15-13, 11-13, 11-6, 11-5 (37m)
Dipika Pallikal bt Misaki Kobayashi 11-3, 3-11, 11-8, 11-8 (29m)
Final positions: 1 Australia, 2 Ireland, 3 India, 4 Japan

Pool C:
[3] EGYPT bt [14] MEXICO 3/0
Engy Kheirallah bt Nayelly Hernandez 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (20m)
Nour El Tayeb bt Imelda Salazar Martinez 11-9, 11-5, 11-3 (24m)
Raneem El Weleily bt Graciela Lopez Perez 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (15m)

[6] FRANCE bt [11] SOUTH AFRICA 3/0
Isabelle Stoehr bt Siyoli Waters 10-12, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (34m)
Maud Duplomb bt Milnay Louw 8-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10 (48m)
Camille Serme bt Tenille Swartz 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (23m)
Final positions: 1 Egypt, 2 France, 3 South Africa, 4 Mexico

Pool D:
[5] NEW ZEALAND bt [4] MALAYSIA 2/1
Joelle King bt Low Wee Wern 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9 (56m)
Shelley Kitchen bt Delia Arnold 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 (33m)
Jaclyn Hawkes lost to Nicol David 3-11, 5-11, 5-11 (27m)

[13] HONG KONG bt [12] CANADA 2/1
Elise Ng bt Alexandra Norman 5-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6 (43m)
Carmen Lee bt Samantha Cornett 11-8, 11-13, 11-8, 14-12 (40m)
Liu Tsz-Ling lost to Miranda Ranieri 8-11, 8-11, 6-11 (27m)
Final positions: 1 New Zealand, 2 Malaysia, 3 Hong Kong, 4 Canada