New Zealand players are all set to try and make an impact at the WSF World Junior Individual Squash Championships starting with the opening ceremony tonight and first round matches tomorrow (Wednesday) evening in Chennai, India.
Already the 12 New Zealand players have experienced hot temperatures, hot food and plenty of training as they prepare for the tournament. The four experienced coaches; Glen Wilson, Manu Yam for the boys and Robbie Wyatt and Phil Buscke for the girls have kept a close eye on their players to make sure they adjust from a winter in New Zealand to the very different conditions in India.
Top Kiwi men’s junior Matt Lucente from Auckland’s North Shore is in the top half of the 128-player draw where he will face a Colombian in the first round. Gabe Yam from the same Belmont Squash Club as Lucente takes on an Irish player, Scott Gillanders in his first round match.
Temwa Chileshe (Waikato) and Anthony Lepper (Auckland) are both set to face lower seeds in their respective matches while development players Leo Fatialofa and Elijah Thomas take on Pakistani and Canadian opponents first up.
In the women’s draw top ranked Kiwi, Kaitlyn Watts (Palmerston North) plays an American in her opening match. The winner will face highly seeded Lucy Turmel (England). Central Districts Annaliese Faint will play a seed from Egypt in her first round while Winona-Jo Joyce from Hawkes Bay faces talented Canadian Emma Jinks.
Other Kiwis in the draw are Waikato’s Georgina Robcke who plays Switzerland’s Sarah Ludin, while Courtney Trail faces a Polish opponent and Diya Joukani will play a seeded Malaysian.
The men’s and women’s individual champs are held at the Indian Squash Academy 18-23 July, Chennai followed by the biennial men’s world junior team champs 24-29 July at the same venue. Egyptian players are set to be the top seeds in both men’s and women’s draws.
1. Matthew Lucente - Auckland
2. Gabe Yam - Auckland
3. Temwa Chileshe - Waikato
4. Anthony Lepper - Auckland
5. Elijah Thomas (Development and Reserve Boys Team) - Auckland
6. Leo Fatialofa (Development) - Auckland
Coaches Glen Wilson Auckland and Manu Yam Auckland
1. Kaitlyn Watts - Central District
2. Courtney Trail - Central District
3. Winona-Jo Joyce - Eastern
4. Annaliese Faint - Central District
5. Georgia Robcke - Waikato
6. Diya Joukani - Auckland
Coaches Robbie Wyatt BOP and Phil Buscke Waikato