2017 World Masters Games
Auckland, New Zealand
21st – 30th April 2017
The small South African contingent of squash players heading to Auckland, New Zealand for the 2017 World Masters Games – Des Sacco, Chris Grainger, John van Heeswijk, Craig van der Wath Angie Clifton-Parks (all Central Gauteng) and Kwazulu Natalian,Tracey Browne – could return with at least three medals, should the seedings go according to plan.
Sacco, runner-up in the 75 + section of World Masters bi-annual Championships in September 2016 in Johannesburg, is seeded 2 in the New Zealand event. He faces some tough opposition from Thomas Slattery, who finished 3rd in Johannesburg and Barry Gardener a semi-finalist in the World Masters in Hong Kong in 2014.
The men’s 65-69 group sees Grainger as third seed heading for a semi-final clash with second seeded Trevor Colyer of New Zealand. Van Heeswijk finds himself seeded fifth in the men’s 55-59 group.
Top seed in the Men’s 50-54 section, Craig van der Wath, winner of a record 5 gold medals at the World Squash Federation World Masters Championships should collect the gold medal. Canadian Steve Wren is in the second slot.
Angie Clifton Parks, 2 times gold medallist in the World Masters championship, fills the second spot in the women’s 50-54 group with New Zealanders Susan Hillier, Kathryn Mackay and Annie Hall seeded 1,3,and 4 respectively.
In the 35-39 section former New Zealander International Shelly Kitchen tops the seedings and should be too strong for Browne.
The Squash events will be played from Saturday 22nd April until Saturday 29th April.
The World Masters Games will be showcasing more than 25000 athletes in 28 sports combining recreational athletes in their events running concurrently with the Open events, has the Opening Ceremony on Friday 21st April at Eden Park and the Closing Ceremony on Sunday 30th April at the Queens Wharf.