Kwazulu Natalian, Steve Coppinger, ranked 14 in the world has been selected to lead South Africa at the bi-annual Men’s World Squash Championships, which have been moved at the eleventh hour from Kuwait to Cairo, Egypt. Slotting in at second place is 47th ranked Shaun le Roux of Western Province, who was runner up in the 2015 National Championships. Western Province’s Clinton Leeuw, the third member of the National team which finished 6th in the 2013 team championships retains his place while completing the quartet is Central Gautenger Thoboki Mohohlo, earning his first national cap.
Of this team, Leeuw is the most experienced at the World Team Championships having represented South Africa in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and now 2015. Coppinger joined the team as number 1 from 2007 and Le Roux fought his way in in 2011.
New kid on the block, Mohohlo, a highly talented player, represented SA Schools in 2007 and then in 2008 earned his first junior national cap when he was selected for the World Junior Men’s individual and team championships in Switzerland. In 2011 he represented Squash South Africa at the All Africa Championships earning a bronze medal in the individual and a silver in the team event. Mohohlo reached the semi-finals of the 2015 National Championships, outplaying the experienced former champion Rodney Durbach in the quarterfinals.
The World Squash Federation had no choice but to move the championships to Cairo Egypt as the Kuwait Olympic Committee was suspended by the International Olympic Committee ‘to protect them from undue government interference’. The suspension was as a result of a sports legislation issue not being resolved by a set deadline and the Kuwait Squash Federation had no choice but to cancel their hosting of the event.
The Egyptian Squash Federation stepped into the breach and will be hosting the event during the same dates.