12:28 pm
30 May 2024

Hosts India & Top Seeds Egypt Record Perfect World Cup Openers

14 Jun 2023

Hosts India and top seeds Egypt enjoyed perfect starts as the Squash World Cup returned to the Indian city of Chennai after a 12-year absence

The SDAT WSF Squash World Cup, which was last played in 2011, has returned with a number of rule changes, including gender-balanced teams of two men and two women and increasing the pace of matches by playing to seven points per game rather than 11.

No.2 seeds India, backed by a boisterous crowd at the city's Express Avenue Mall, made the ideal start to their Pool B campaign with four wins out of four against Hong Kong, China.

Chennai natives Abhay Singh and Joshna Chinappa began well for the hosts with a pair of 3/0 wins against Chung Yat Long and Heylie Fung.

Chinappa, India's record 19-time national champion, also represented India in the previous World Cup - which was also in Chennai - as did her compatriot Saurav Ghosal.

Andes Ling and Toby Tse threatened to spoil the party when they took 1/0 and 2/0 leads against Ghosal and Tanvi Khan, but both were able to fight back, with Ghosal claiming a 3/1 win and Khanna impressing to rescue the match and win in five games.

Speaking afterwards, Chinappa said: "In India, we've got so many women doing so well in different sports and it's nice to be one of them in a small capacity. Since I was nine years old this is all I've done, all I've known and it's very special to be playing for India at the highest level still!"

India face South Africa tomorrow in Pool B, with the No.7 seeds going down 3/1 to No.3 seeds Japan in the opening tie of the day.

In Pool A, pre-tournament favourites and defending champions Egypt showed their class with a shut out of Australia.

Up first for Egypt, Karim El Hammamy bounced back from a troubled start to beat Nicholas Calvert 3/1, with Fayrouz Aboelkheir then repeating the trick as she came back from a game down to beat Jessica Turnbull by the same scoreline.

Egypt saw out the rest of the contest more comfortably, with Aly Abou Eleinen and Kenzy Ayman beating Joseph White and Alexandra Haydon in straight games.

Egypt will face Colombia tomorrow, with the No.8 seeds losing to No.4 seeds Malaysia 3/1.