Teams Vienna – Preview Part I
18 , 2003: by Dan Kneipp (Kah-nipe) [Bronsteins
World Teams Preview]
– Pools A, B, C & D. (Part 1 of 2)
have converged on Vienna as part of the 30 teams making up this
year’s World Team Championship. Each team consists of 3 men, but
the tournament involves seven matches over seven day, a reserve player
vital to allow players a break. Bermuda, a new entry this year is the
team opting to forgo the extra player. By the fifth day of competition
‘squash arse’ is really setting in they may be regretting
isn’t that long in the cycle of a pro athlete. It’s certainly
nothing like the Olympic or Commonwealth Games where most athletes are
able to perform at two, or if they’re lucky three Games. Still,
of the 96
competitors that took part in the last World Team Championships in Melbourne
2001, nearly half – 45, aren’t in Vienna. The most glaring
Stewart Boswell, Mark Chaloner, Chris Walker, Omar Elborolossy, Richard
and John Williams.
119 players at this year’s World Teams, 33 weren’t in Melbourne.
more notable inclusions are Anthony Ricketts, Wael El Hindi, Nick Matthew,
James Willstrop, Victor Berg, some hacker named Kneipp, and apparently
English are wielding a new secret weapon – some bloke called Nicol.
is initially being played in pools, and then two normal
16-draw tournaments will follow. The top 16 teams will form one tournament,
meaning a team can come second in the pool and still win the tournament.
first three days will be the pools. Here’s how the teams and matches
for the first four pools.
 Australia,  Germany, [17/24] Japan, [25/30] Russia
David Palmer 2
Anthony Ricketts 7
Joseph Kneipp 11
Paul Price 20
Simon Frenz –
Stefan Leifels 116
Daniel Hoffmann –
Oliver Post –
Kimihiko Sano 217
Takehide Nishio –
Takeshi Aoyama –
Jun Matsumoto –
Alexey Severinov 257
Serguei Kostrykine –
Maxim Shokin –
Andrey Bratter –
is the current titleholders and understandably the favourites.
Definitely not ‘hot favourites’, but on paper the strongest
average PSA ranking for the team is 10. If Boswell was able to play that
ranking would drop to 6.5. The closest average to that is England at 19.5.
along with New Zealand is the only team to attend all 18 previous
World Team Championships (not including Great Britain separating into
individual countries). The Aussies have won the event a record 7 times.
has made two changes to their victorious 2001 squad.
All-round-hell-of-a-nice-guy Joe Kneipp makes his senior team debut for
country, eleven years after captaining the Australian Junior Men’s
victory at the 1992 World Junior Men’s Team Championships in Hong
was pipped at the post for the 2001 team by Johnny Williams. Both players
spent the whole year with their rankings seesawing around the low 20s,
occasional dips into the teens. Williams’ average was slightly better
got the spot, but his ranking is now 41.
Boswell, an integral part of the winning 2001 team has been injured
and off the squash court with back troubles for the last six months. A
up of Palmer, Boswell and Ricketts would have been a devastating team
is Rickett’s debut, back in 2001 he was still gaining the momentum
his top ten assault and was ranked in the 30s and mid 20s for the first
of the year.
has competed in this tournament 9 times, including 4 as West
Germany. Their best result was coming 8th in 1993 in Karachi, but could
manage 15th in Melbourne last time. A German club team, Paderborn, won
year’s European Club Championships, although the competition wasn’t
as strong as it could have been, and the team was bolstered by Peter Nicol
and Tim Garner. It would be extremely difficult, bordering upon impossible
bar injury for the Germans to beat Australia for the top pool spot, but
also shouldn’t have any trouble comfortably defeating Japan and
the all important 2nd pool position.
has competed 8 times, finishing most times in the bottom three places.
Considering the country has only three pro players it’s impressive
that they’re fielding a team.
is one of the teams competing for the first time. Like Japan they are
a small squash nation that will be able to learn a lot from the tournament
and the players they’re competing against, but won’t pose
an upset threat. I
would love to eat my words.
 England,  Switzerland, [17/24] New Zealand, [25/30] Hungary
Peter Nicol 1
Lee Beachill 10
James Willstrop 39
Nick Matthew 24
Lars Harms 51
Andre Holderegger 107
Marco Dätwyler –
Kevin Villiger –
Glen Wilson –
Daniel Sharplin –
Callum O’Brien 115
Oliver Johnston 221
Andras Torok –
Mark Krajcsak –
Sandor Fulop 241
Morton Szaboky 257
England the #2 seeds are the only other team to have two players in the
10, although France and Egypt nearly do. They have won the event twice
came third in Melbourne. Their 2003 team has only one player who also
competed in 2001 – Lee Beachill. Paul Johnson has retired, Chris
ranking has blown out to 38, tenth of the English players, and Mark Chaloner
despite being ranked 19 has been overlooked for a younger team. Nick Matthew
and James Willstrop are the youngsters brought into the team because of
recent tournament successes and future potential. It mustn’t be
players like Chaloner and Simon Parke to be overlooked despite being ranked
higher, but this decision certainly has England’s long-term prospects
mind. The mouth-watering prospect of an Australia-England final (lots
hurdles first) means the probable matches of Palmer vs Nicol, Ricketts
Beachill and Kneipp vs Matthew. England’s main pool competitor is
to be Switzerland by the seeding, but I think New Zealand is just as likely
to take an unexpected match.
are making their eighth appearance and hoping to better their
1999 result of 17. They didn’t field a team in Melbourne in 2001.
is led by Lars Harms, a player that I think has similar game style and
potential to Mark Chaloner, but hasn’t yet fulfilled it. He has
comprehensive game and great fitness and when playing well can cause some
grief for his opponent, even the top guys.
has been the perennial bridesmaids of this tournament. They have
come 2nd three times, but could understandably feel robbed at missing
title at the 1977 event held at Toronto. There were only 8 teams so a
was played. Pakistan, NZ and Egypt all finished with six wins. Pakistan
because of a better win/loss game percentage despite having lost to NZ
their encounter. The only time the event has been held in NZ, in Auckland
1983, the home team didn’t do as well as hoped, mainly because their
player Ross Norman was unable to compete due to a parachuting accident.
Kiwis have been going through a slump over the past few World Team Champs.
Between 1967 and 1995 the team came mostly 2nd or 5th. The last three
performances have been 11, 14 and 17, a slow decline they’ll aim
this week. The excitement in this pool won’t involve England, whose
placing should be a formality. New Zealand and Switzerland will both be
expecting to take the vital 2nd place and either team could.
will probably just make up the numbers in this pool, destined for
the 17-30 playoff tournament. It is the country’s first participation
event. The two players that are PSA members will get invaluable experience
stepping on court with the likes of Nicol, Beachill and the other top
 France,  Sweden, [17/24] Austria, [25/30] Slovenia
Thierry Lincou 5
Gregory Gaultier 13
Renan Lavigne 25
Jean-Michel Arcucci 50
Christian Drakenberg 71
Joakim Karlsson 203
Henrik Lofvenborg 210
Badr Aziz –
Leopold Czaska 158
Clemens Wallishauser 179
Gerhard Schedlbauer 257
Andreas Fuchs –
Gasper Fecur –
Damir Bezan –
Klemen Gutman –
Miha Kavas –
is the 3rd team that could very realistically win this tournament, on
paper virtually as strong as England and Australia. Lincou and Gaultier
both capable of beating any of the number ones or twos and both Arcucci
Lavigne are very solid players, particularly when the French flag is being
waved about. Lincou has just become a father for the first time –
There is apparently no truth in the rumour that she’s already sponsored
Tecnifibre and entered in the 2020 women’s world junior champs.
joined the competition in 1987 and had their best result in 2001, finishing
5th. They have the exact same team as last time, with a minor reshuffling
the order because of Gaultier’s improvement. Winning the pool should
reasonably easy match practice for the French.
have played in this tournament a surprising 14 times, most often
finishing in single figures. Fifth is their best result so far, but they
have come sixth on numerous occasions including in Melbourne last time.
should be able to dispatch Austria and Slovenia to take the 2nd pool
nation Austria has played 6 times in the tournament, coming 14th in
Helsinki in 1991. They finished 20th in Melbourne. They’ll have
battle to win 2nd place in the pool.
is another newcomer to the event.
 Egypt,  Finland, [17/24] Hong Kong, [25/30] Bermuda
Karim Darwish 9
Amr Shabana 12
Mohamed Abbas 23
Wael Hatem El Hindi 37
Olli Tuominen 26
Juha Raumolin –
Hameed Ahmed –
Matias Tuomi –
Faheem Khan –
Wong Wai Hang 197
Dick Lau –
Roger Nyan –
Nicholas Kyme 170
James Stout 205
Sam Stevens –
is the fourth team that could be considered favourites for the title.
Both Darwish and Shabana have shown that on a good day they can beat any
the top players. That couldn’t be reiterated more than by looking
performance in Melbourne 2001. The team came 2nd, with the most crucial
coming in the quarter finals where Darwish beat Power to help secure the
victory. His game has progressed considerably since then. Egypt won the
title in 1999 in Cairo, and were finalists last time. The only different
between this team and Melbourne, is the swapping of Omar Elborolossy with
Mohammed Abbass. Elborolossy is ranked higher and has a good track record,
but apparently withdrew from the recent African Games due to sickness.
was threatened with exclusion from the World Team event if he didn’t
Africa, but was too sick.
has played the tournament 11 times, coming 3rd in 1991 when they
hosted the event in Helsinki. They had their worst result in 7 tournaments
in Melbourne, coming 12th. The team is led by world #26 Olli Tuominen,
then has a considerable standard decrease. The team’s #2 Juha Raumolin
former World Junior Champion, beating Power for the title in 1992, but
never able to replicate that standard in the pro game. He hasn’t
for years, but Finland doesn’t have any better players yet. Tuominen
capable of beating Darwish, but it will be difficult for another Finnish
player to cause an upset to take the coveted #1 pool spot from Egypt.
Kong has played in the tournament 9 times, but hasn’t had any
spectacular results. They came 18th in Melbourne and would be hoping to
replicate that result here. It would be nearly impossible for them to
Egypt of Finland for the top pool spots, so 17th will probably be the
result they can get.
Bermuda is one of the teams competing for the first time.
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