New Zealand has named an exciting team for this December’s World Squash Federation (WSF) Men’s World Team Championship in Tauranga.
World number five and Commonwealth Games Singles & Mixed Doubles Champion Paul Coll headlines the team. He’s joined by Commonwealth Games teammate Temwa Chileshe who is in hot form, having last month won his first ever PSA Challenger Title. His older brother Lwamba Chileshe has also been named to the team after placing second at this year’s New Zealand Squash Championships.
Rounding out the Kiwi squad is young bolter Elijah Thomas from Auckland. The 20-year-old impressed selectors with a third-place finish at the 2023 National Championships, before winning the City of Devonport Tasmanian Open in August.
“Making this team was a major goal for me this year so I’m stoked to have the opportunity to represent New Zealand and play against the world’s best. This will be my first time representing New Zealand at the senior level which is super exciting,” said Thomas.
Paul Coll says it’s great to have the team selected ahead of some fantastic competition.
“Most of the top 10 male players in the world will be competing at the World Men’s Teams so there will be a really high level of aggressive squash on display. It’s always a really fun tournament and it’s great to watch so I’d encourage everyone to get involved and support our team.”
Squash NZ Poipatu Aotearoa National Performance Coach Jonathan Kemp says the team will be looking to make a statement on home soil come December.
“Being selected to represent your country is the ultimate honour and doing so on New Zealand soil is the ultimate privilege,” said Kemp.
“These players know how special this opportunity is and I have no doubt that they will rise to the occasion. I would like to congratulate them all on their well-deserved selection and look forward to working with them to cause a few upsets in December!”
The Men’s World Team Championship is a biennial tournament which sees four-man squads from national federations battle it out for the title of World Squash Champions. Twenty-four nations have entered the tournament which will be played at New Zealand’s Mercury Baypark Arena and the Devoy Squash & Fitness Centre, Tauranga, from 11-17 December.
The tournament will be one of the largest sporting events of the year in the region, featuring around 100 of the world’s best squash athletes. It will provide significant economic benefits to the Bay of Plenty with more than four-thousand visitor nights expected.
Joining hosts New Zealand are countries from every corner of the globe, including defending champions Egypt, eight-time champions Australia and five-time champions England.
Tauranga has emerged in recent years as a hotbed of top-class squash, with last year’s ‘Festival of Squash’ well received by squash fans around the world.