Cam Pilley leads experienced Oz team in World Doubles
By HOWARD HARDING and ALAN THATCHER
Hosts Australia are predicted to take gold in two of the three events in the 2016 WSF World Doubles Squash Championships in Darwin next month according to the seedings announced today by the World Squash Federation, while Queenslander Rachael Grinham is expected to become the first player in the sport’s history to win gold in three successive championships.
The championships, featuring Men’s, Women’s and Mixed events, will take place at the Darwin Squash Centre in the Northern Territory capital city from August 15-18.
Grinham, the 39-year-old former world number one, will partner Cameron Pilley, the world No.14 from New South Wales, in the Mixed Doubles. Winner of the World Mixed title in 2004 in India in 2004 with David Palmer (right), and the 2006 gold medal on home soil in Melbourne in 2006 partnering Joseph Kneipp, Grinham is also the reigning Commonwealth Games Mixed Doubles champion after claiming the 2014 title in Scotland, again with Palmer.
Pilley also struck gold in Glasgow in the Men’s Doubles with Palmer and reached the 2006 World Mixed final (with Amelia Pittock) where he lost out to his 2016 partner Grinham.
Pilley is bidding for a Darwin double as top seed in the Men’s Doubles, with left-hander Ryan Cuskelly. Also a New South Welshman, Cuskelly is ranked 16 in the world.
Grinham is seeded to reach the Women’s Doubles final, with Brisbane-based world No.21 Donna Urquhart – but it is the Indian pairing Joshna Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal who are firm favourites for gold after becoming the Commonwealth Games champions in 2014 against the odds.
Both sharing India’s highest-ever world ranking of 10, Chinappa and Pallikal would become India’s first ever world squash champions.
Colombia will be making their World Doubles debut. Following their Pan American Games Men’s Doubles title success last year in Canada, Andrés Herrera and Juan Camilo Vargas will be appearing in the Darwin championship for the first time, where they are the fifth seeds.
Compatriot Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the world No.5 renowned for his spectacular diving around the court, will be bidding to cause an upset in the Mixed championship, where he and partner Catalina Pelaez are the No.6 seeds.
Scotland stars Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban compete together after starring in the 2014 Commonwealth Games with Harry Leitch and Stuart Crawford respectively. The Scottish pair are second seeds in the Men’s Doubles and will be competing in the same group alongside fellow Scots Doug Kempsell and Kevin Moran, plus the third-seeded New Zealand pairing of Paul Coll and Campbell Grayson.
Peter Creed and Joel Makin team up in the men’s event for Wales, with Tesni Evans and Jenny Haley competing in the women’s event. Creed and Evans team up in the mixed event, with Makin and Haley in the same group.
Early action in the three championships will take place in pools, before reaching the semi-finals on Wednesday 17 August and the finals the following day. England have chosen not to send a squad to compete in Darwin.
WSF World Doubles Championship, Darwin, Australia 15-18, 2016.
Pool line-ups (seeding in brackets)
Men’s Doubles, Pool A:
 Ryan Cuskelly & Cameron Pilley (AUS)
 Rex Hedrick & David Palmer (AUS)
 Andrés Herrera & Juan Camilo Vargas (COL)
 Ivan Yuen & Sanjay Singh Chal (MAS)
 Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu & Ramit Tandon (IND)
 Alan Clyne & Greg Lobban (SCO)
 Paul Coll & Campbell Grayson (NZL)
 Nafiizwan Adnan & Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS)
 Peter Creed & Joel Makin (WAL)
 Douglas Kempsell & Kevin Moran (SCO)
Women’s Doubles, Pool A:
 Joshna Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal (IND)
 Delia Arnold & Rachel Arnold (MAS)
 Sarah Cardwell & Christine Nunn (AUS)
 Aika Azman & Teh Min Jie (MAS)
 Rachael Grinham & Donna Urquhart (AUS)
 Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
 Catalina Pelaez & Laura Tovar (COL)
 Tesni Evans & Jenny Haley (WAL)
Mixed Doubles, Pool A:
 Rachael Grinham & Cameron Pilley (AUS)
 Donna Urquhart & David Palmer (AUS)
 Joshna Chinappa & Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND)
 Amanda Landers-Murphy & Campbell Grayson (NZL)
 Delia Arnold & Sanjay Singh Chal (MAS)
 Dipika Pallikal & Saurav Ghosal (IND)
 Joelle King & Paul Coll (NZL)
 Catalina Pelaez & Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
 Tesni Evans & Peter Creed (WAL)
 Rachel Arnold & Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS)
 Jenny Haley & Joel Makin (WAL)
Official event website: wsfworlddoubles.com
Pictures courtesy of WSF