Three-year Malaysian deal gives stability to Women’s World Championship
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
Simon Arnold, Managing Director of Hallmark Events Group, today announced that the Women’s Squash Association (WSA), in conjunction with the World Squash Federation (WSF), has awarded the rights to Malaysia to host the next three editions of the Women’s World Squash Championship. The inaugural event will be held from December 11-18 this year.
“We are very pleased to see Malaysia win the bid for this premier event,” Mr Arnold said. “They have a very strong tradition in squash and hosting the World Championships for the next three years will continue to build on this legacy.
“Malaysia has real depth of strength in squash. Nicol David has been at the very pinnacle of the game for the last ten years and it is great to see Low Wee Wern break into the world’s top ten.
“Furthermore the next generation looks in good hands following the gold medal success of both the boys and girls in the recent Asian Junior Team Championships.”
The tournament will see a top-class international field of the best 32 players in the world coming together for the largest prize-purse in the sport.
The tournament will feature the top 23 players from the WSA world rankings and the eight players who make it through the World Championship qualifying competition, which will be held immediately preceding the event proper. The final place will be awarded as a wildcard by the organisers.
Commenting on the historic agreement, which will see the World Tour’s premier women’s event staged in the same country for three years in a row for the first time in its 36-year history, WSA Chief Executive Tommy Berden said: “We are excited to be returning to Malaysia, a country with a successful history in the sport.
“It was crucial for us to create some stability and continuity for our pinnacle event and we are delighted to be hosting the Women’s World Championship for three years in Asia, which is a very important market for squash.
“Squash continues to make huge growth in its appeal across a wide range of audiences and we will be working closely with the promoters to look at every component of the event.
“Strategies are being put in place to design something very special and I believe, given the venue – which will be announced shortly and is unique – we have the foundations to put on a great show and set a new benchmark for the sport.”
Malaysian superstar Nicol David will undoubtedly be firm favourite to extend her remarkable record of eight world titles on home soil at the end of this year.
The 31-year-old from Penang made history in February by topping the world rankings for a 106th month, thereby becoming the longest-reigning World No.1 of all-time.
Details on the tournament, including sponsors, players, fringe activities and partners, will be announced closer to the date.
The 2015 championship will also be the first to be staged under the auspices of the newly-formed merger of the WSA with the PSA (the Professional Squash Association).
For all the latest WSA Tour news: wsaworldtour.com
Picture courtesy of WSA