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Center of the Universe
May
2, 2005, by Ryan Barnett
SquashTalk Independent News Service
© 2005 all Rights Reserved;


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Toronto
the host as Canadian Nationals Moves Back East

For some Toronto, Canada is affectionately known as “Hog
Town”. For others, “the Centre of the Universe” will
do just fine. Whatever you prefer the fact remains that squash players
from all over the Great White North are set to converge on Canada’s
largest city for the 2005 Canadian National Squash Championships May 4-7th.

Not since 2001 have the Nationals been held out East.
First Calgary, then Edmonton and last year Vancouver rounding out the
Western hospitality. According to Squash Canada’s Executive Director
Linda MacPhail there’s more than just a geographic change associated
with this year’s tournament.

GLASS
COURT AND NATIONAL TV

Jonathon Power – ready for the challengers
at the Canadian Nationals © 2005 Debra Tessier

“Given
the popularity of squash in North America and the growth that the sport
is currently enjoying our National Championships provides the perfect
opportunity to showcase the sport and our Canadian athletes on a global
scale. This year Squash Canada is tremendously excited to be hosting the
Nationals as in past years the event was normally sponsored by the local
club” MacPhail adds, “CBC television will be broadcasting
both the men’s and women’s semis and finals from the Barbara
Frum Atrium where the all-glass court along with 500 theatre style seats
have been set-up. All of our top professional players will be in attendance
and we will have a full compliment of companion and age group events taking
place in three adjacent facilities”

Yes, the big boys will be in attendance. Jonathon Power,
fresh off his Bermuda Masters victory, will be looking for his sixth crown
in seven years. Standing in his way will be the defending champion Graham
Ryding who has also recently tasted victory winning the Quebec Open. Power
says despite the dominance that both he and Ryding have exhibited the
past decade there are players ready to step-up and make their mark. “I’m
really impressed with Matt Giuffre’s game. He’s really picked
it up and improved his squash over the past year. I would say he could
be the dark horse but then again Viktor Berg always comes to play and
don’t forget about Shahier(Razik) I can’t simply show-up.
I’ve got to play and play well”

On the women’s side it’s once again wide open.
The nation’s highest ranked female at #33, Ottawa’s Runa Reta,
will be put to task by last year’s champ Alana Miller and the ever
dangerous Katie Patrick. Lurking in the weeds, veteran and arguably Canada’s
best female squash player, Melanie Jans-Burke. Jans-Burke has quietly
been getting herself in peak form and is looking forward to returning
to familiar surroundings. “The Nationals are special. I’m
glad they are in my old hometown because it’ll be fun to see my
parents and friends. At this stage in my career I still train hard and
enjoy the game. It’s great for our sport that there are younger
players coming up. I’m going to be ready; going to give it my best
shot and at the end of the day, win or lose I’ll have a lot of fond
memories of my playing career.”

The event begins Wednesday.



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