Chennai, Aug 28 IANS | 4 months ago

The eighth World University Squash Championship will be hosted by the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) in association with the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) Sep 1-7 at the Indian Squash Academy here.

In all, 45 entries including 18 women have come in from 11 countries aside from India for the championship which will witness both individual and team events separately.

The participating countries are Canada, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Slovenia, South Africa, United Kingdom and Czech Republic, it was announced here Thursday.

Egypt's Nour Nasser El Tayeb is the highest ranked female (World No.25) while compatriot Mazen Sabri is highest ranked male at 34.

The Indian team comprises Ravi Dixit (148), Maninder Pal Singh Sandhu, Hiteswar Singh Riar, Aparajitha Balamurukan (109) and Sachika Ingale (154).

The individual championship phase (Sep 1-4), which precedes the team competition (Sep 5-7), will see three male and two female players from each country in the fray.

The team championship is a mixed event with two male players and one female representing a country. In 2010, Great Britain was the team championship winner while Joel Hinds (Great Britain) and Annie Au (Hong Kong) were the men and women individual winners.

This is the first time that this event is coming to India and when AIU bid for it, it decided to seek SRFI's assistance to host the competition. Under the auspices of SRFI, the Tamil Nadu Squash Rackets Association, supported by the Tamil Nadu government, will conduct the championship. This is also the first time that India is participating in this event.

It was in 1995 that the idea of organising a squash event for university-level students first cropped up. The World Squash Federation (WSF) gave its full support and promptly found dates in the international calendar for its launch in August 1996 in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Since then, the championship was conducted every two years till 2002. The next edition came four years later in 2006 in Szeged (Hungary). Two years later, Cairo hosted it and the last one in 2010 was held in Melbourne. The event now comes to Asia, albeit after a four-year gap.

(Posted on 28-08-2014)

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