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Games boasts world class squash entry

04 July 2002

The world's very best are going to be at Manchester 2002.

Mark Chaloner

Mark Chaloner will be trying to upset the powerful triumverate of Peter Nicol, Jonathon Power and David Palmer

A world class entry list, featuring thirteen of the world's top fifteen men and eight of the top ten women, will grace the courts of the new National Squash Centre at Sportcity in Manchester for the squash events in the 2002 Commonwealth Games, which get underway on Friday 26 July.

The men's field will be headed by world number 1 and world champion Peter Nicol, who claimed the gold medal in 1998 in the sport's Commonwealth Games debut in Kuala Lumpur. Nicol will be attempting to win his second gold medal for his second country - the Aberdeen-born 29-year-old competed in Malaysia as a Scot, then last year transferred his allegiance to England, the country of his residence for more than 10 years.

The threat to Nicol's historic double will be led by Canada's in-form world number 2 Jonathon Power, the 1998 silver medallist who has triumphed in the pair's last three meetings this year. The charismatic Canadian has repeatedly confirmed his determination to make amends for his Kuala Lumpur defeat.

Australia's powerful Sarah Fitz-Gerald will lead the women's entry list. The world number 1 and four-times world champion from Melbourne has claimed 12 international titles in an unbeaten run since last August. Runner-up in 1998, Fitz-Gerald is eager to capture the one major title that has hitherto eluded her.

Medals are available in five Commonwealth Games squash events - men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles.

The English pairing of Mark Chaloner and Paul Johnson will be defending their men's doubles gold medal.

Delighted with the entry for the 2002 Games, Susie Simcock, President of the World Squash Federation (WSF) commented: "The quality of entry for squash in this, the second Commonwealth Games appearance for the sport, is absolutely excellent. We are grateful to all the nations who have sent their players to make this a truly world class event."

The top ten men's entries (featuring world ranking and country) are:

(1) Peter Nicol, England; (2) Jonathon Power, Canada; (3) David Palmer, Australia; (4) Stewart Boswell, Australia; (7) Mark Chaloner (England); (8) Ong Beng Hee, Malaysia; (9) Martin Heath, Scotland; (10) Lee Beachill, England; (11) Anthony Ricketts, Australia; and (12) Chris Walker, England.

The top ten women's entries are: (1) Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Australia; (2) Carol Owens, New Zealand; (3) Cassie Jackman, England; (4) Leilani Joyce, New Zealand; (6) Linda Charman-Smith, England; (8) Fiona Geaves, England; (9) Stephanie Brind, England; (10) Tania Bailey, England; (11) Rachael Grinham, Australia; and (14) Natalie Grinham, Australia.

Manchester 2002 squash tickets are available online

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