Fitz leads the Aussie charge
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
A record 951 players will compete in the 2016 World Masters Squash Championships in South Africa this month, according to the draws for the events published by the World Squash Federation.
The biennial event, launched in 1983, will take place in Johannesburg from September 24-30, featuring 19 men’s and women’s events, from Over-35 to Over-80.
The main venues will be The Wanderers Club and the Parkview Squash Centre, with additional venues added to deal with the record entry.
Title success is expected to be spread across 10 nations, with England and hosts South Africa predicted to win four gold medals each. Englishman Adrian Wright, the top men’s O75 seed, is going for a fourth World Masters title and compatriot Ann Manley, the women’s O75 favourite, is bidding for a third.
South African Craig van der Wath, top seed in the men’s O50 event, has his sights on a fifth World Masters gold medal, whilst his partner Angie Clifton-Parks is bidding for a third crown.
Egypt, such prolific winners, have former world No.13 Mohammed Abbas installed as hot favourite for the men’s O35 event.
Five-time world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald leads the Australian charge in Johannesburg, seeded to retain her O45 trophy and collect a third World Masters title.
Meanwhile, former world number one Natalie Grainger is strong favourite to retain the women’s O35 title she won last time in Hong Kong.
Her father Chris Grainger is second seed in the men’s O65 category and mother Jean Grainger will be bidding to defend her women’s O70 title from a position of fourth seed.
2016 World Masters, Johannesburg, South Africa. Top seeds:
Men’s Over 35: 1 Mohammed Abbas (EGY), 2 Gary Wheadon (RSA), 3 Saurab Nayar (IND), Rowan Smith (RSA)
Men’s Over 40: 1 Rodney Durbach (RSA), 2 Adrian Hansen (RSA), Patrick Chifunda (ZAM), 4 Paul Atkinson (RSA)
Men’s Over 45: 1 Michael Tootill (RSA), 2 Nick Taylor (JEY), 3 Craig Wapnick (RSA), Christian Borgvall (SWE)
Men’s Over 50: 1 Craig van der Wath (RSA), 2 Yawar Abbas (ENG), 3 Stephen McLoughlin (ENG), 4 Anders Wahlstedt (SWE)
Men’s Over 55: 1 Willie Hosey (IRL), 2 Mark Woodliffe (ENG), 3 Trevor Wilkinson (RSA), 4 Bryan Beeson (ENG)
Men’s Over 60: 1 John Macrury (CAN), 2 Johnny Orsmond (RSA), 3 Udo Kahl (GER), 4 Michael Haybittel (AUS)
Men’s Over 65: 1 Brian Cook (AUS), 2 Chris Grainger (RSA), 3 Jim Dougal (SCO), 4 Scotch Gibb (RSA)
Men’s Over 70: 1 Gerald Poulton (CAN), 2 Rodney Boswell (ENG), 3 Martin Pearse (ENG), 4 Bugs Palmer (RSA)
Men’s Over 75: 1 Adrian Wright (ENG), 2 Desmond Sacco (RSA), 3 Tom Slattery (AUS), 4 Björn Borgvall (SWE)
Men’s Over 80: 1 Lance Kinder (ENG), 2 Trevor Coulter (NZL), 3 Malcolm Gilham (ENG), 4 John Woodliffe (ENG)
Women’s Over 35: 1 Natalie Grainger (USA), 2 Lauren Briggs (ENG), 3 Jacqueline Ryder (RSA), 4 Tracy Browne (RSA)
Women’s Over 40: 1 Karen Meakins (BAR), 2 Samantha Herbert (RSA), 3 Anlen Murray (RSA), 4 Janet Byrnes (RSA)
Women’s Over 45: 1 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (AUS), 2 Hope Prockop (USA), 3 Andrea Santamaria (ENG), 4 Linda Shannon (RSA)
Women’s Over 50: 1 Angie Clifton-Parks (RSA), 2 Leora Ratcliffe (ZAM), 3 Sharon le Roux (RSA), 4 Rachel Woolford (ENG)
Women’s Over 55: 1 Jill Campion (ENG), 2 Karen Hume (ENG), 3 Sarah Howlett (ENG), 4 Helena Kruger (RSA)
Women’s Over 60: 1 Pauline Douglas (SCO), 2 Anne Richards (AUS), 3 Eunice Bond (SCO), 4 Julie Field (ENG)
Women’s Over 65: 1 Claire Bryars (FRA), 2 Marilyn Kennedy (AUS), 3 Faith Sinclair (SCO), 4 Margaret Hunt-Kemp (RSA)
Women’s Over 70: 1 Ann Manley (ENG), 2 Bett Dryhurst (ENG), 3 Sheena Worwood (RSA), 4 Jean Grainger (RSA)
Women’s Over 75: 1 2 Barbara Sanderson (IRL), 2 Joan Witton (ENG), 3 Alma Cave (RSA)
Official event website, including full draws: wsfworldmasters.com/
Pictures from Squash Mad archive