Sunday, July 5, 2009

Aussies name squad

Squash Australia has named a strong team to take part in the 13th World Junior Women’s Squash Championships in Chennai, India from July 29-August 8.

The team is Sarah Cardwell from Melbourne, Rheanne Niebling (Tent Hill, Queensland), Christine Nunn (Canberra) and Tamika Saxby (Coffs Harbour, NSW).

The Australian team will be coached by Victorian Institute of Sport head coach Karen Cagliarini, while squash legend Sarah Fitz-Gerald will accompany the team as the assistant coach and manager.

Niebling, from a small town about 80 kilometres west of Brisbane, said she was ‘blown away” when she was told of her selection. "It’s surreal – I didn’t expect it all," the 18-year-old said.

"I was playing a lot of squash but then I got injured and had to stop. I’ve only had three months’ training under my belt so there’s no way I expected to be selected.”

Niebling, who trains and plays in the country towns of Gatton and Laidley, only made her first overseas trip last month when she went to Malaysia for two junior tournaments.

"It was a real eye-opener for me going to Malaysia so I have no idea what to expect in India," she said.

Squash Australia CEO Gary O’Donnell said the Chennai event would provide the four women with invaluable experience at a major international tournament.

"We are confident squash will be chosen to make its Olympic debut in 2016 and by that time these four young women will be at their prime," O’Donnell said.

"When you consider that Kasey Brown (world number 13) is just 23 and Donna Urquhart (world number 29) is 22, the future of women’s squash in this country looks very rosy."

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