Women’s World Open for Penang

The Malaysian state of Penang will host the delayed 2013 Women’s World Squash Championship following an agreement concluded today by the  WSA …

The event, boasting a $120,000 prize-fund, will get underway on 17 March at the Nicol David International Squash Centre – with the later rounds staged on an all-glass showcourt at the 10,000-seater Penang International Sports Arena.

It will be the third time in the 35-year history of this WSF title that the WSA’s premier event has been staged in Malaysia – but the first time in Penang, the home of defending champion Nicol David, the world number one.

David, the Malaysian sporting icon who this month celebrated an historic 90th successive month at the top of the world rankings, will have the perfect setting to extend her record to eight world titles since 2005.

Penang, which hosted the Women’s World Junior Championships in 2001, has a great tradition of developing squash talent. Not only is the island David’s birthplace, but also that of women’s world No6 Low Wee Wern and men’s star Ong Beng Hee.

SH1181“The Penang State government has really made this a special moment for me and also Low Wee Wern – having the World Championship in our very own hometown in Penang,” said David. “After winning my fifth World title, there was talk by the state government on how they would be able to bring the World Championships to Penang one day.

“This support by them taking a huge role in hosting the 2013 World Championship is truly amazing. I’m looking forward to sharing my hometown with the top WSA players from all over the world. Glad to know that we players are given a chance to compete for the 2013 World title in Penang!”

WSA Chairman Ingrid Lofdahl-Bentzer added: “It is fantastic news for the WSA to be able announce this event. We very grateful to Penang and everyone involved for their dedication and continued support. I have no doubt that the players share my excitement and will be looking forward to a fantastic World Championship.”

At today’s press conference in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said: “WSA’s agreement to permit Penang to host this event is recognition that Penang has the facilities, amenities and infrastructure of a fitting location for a world class event as well as the experience and expertise to organise a world championship.

“The Penang state government felt it was a real shame that Penang’s very own world squash queen will not be able to add to her already impressive collection of seven world titles earned in 2005, 2006, 2008-2012,” continued the Minister.

“Malaysians, especially Penangites, are eagerly awaiting her to defend her title for a record eighth time.”

Pictured during today’s signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur are (L to R) Penang Squash Association president Huang Yin How; Penang state exco for Youth and Sports, Women, Family and Community Development Chong Eng; Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan EngNicol David and event director Thomas Chan.

The 2014 Women’s World Championship will take place later in the year – full details of which are expected to be announced in due course.

Image courtesy of FZ.com

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4 comments

  1. This is one of the main reasons why squash fails in its bid to be in the London and Rio Olympic where women are not given equal opportunities with their male counterpart. WSA, PSA and WSF should look at their weaknesses first before they want to make a bid in the olympic. I believe squash will never becomes an olympic sports if this unequal treatment between male and female tour continues.

  2. This is why this sport is a joke. We couldn’t host a world open in 2013, and we do a delayed version in 2014? I could understand if there was a venue and a tournament planned and announced in 2013, but pushed into 2014 for some reason; however, no such thing occurred. Rather, an event was created in 2014, and now retroactively labelled as a 2013 event? Let’s go do the 1991 event too while we’re doing embarrassing and laughable things…

    I really wonder why we have been so insistent on trying for the Olympics when it is clear we are still a small, niche sport.

  3. IMHO that comment does not make much sense.
    If we would delete all sports and all nations, where men an women are not treated equal, from the olympic games, the olympic games will become very small, because we would lose many sports and many participating nations.

  4. Squash doesn’t deserve to be in the Olympics if the men and women sections can’t get their act together and be integrated, both organizationally and also in terms of prize money. The male chauvinistic Middle East countries should be made to organise championships for women squash too. At the moment because of the large prize money for men championships, the women are totally forgotten by the organisers of the men’s programs. What a shame! Hello, Olympics gold medal for men and women are not of different value or colour. So squash has to wake-up to the global reality of gender equality.

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