London, Nov 9: Shine, Hosts France, who recorded a best-ever sixth place in the previous championship yet are seeded ninth in the 2012 WSF Women’s World Team Championship, are bidding to reach the last eight again next week in the 18th staging of the biennial World Squash Federation event in the historic city of Nimes.
A record 26 nations will take part in the 2012 championship which is being hosted by Fédération Française de Squash from 12-17 November, and staged in France for the first time in its 33-year history.
The championship in Nimes will be held at the eight-court Club des Costières, and at La Parnasse Arena – where history will be made with action taking place simultaneously on three new state-of-the-art ASB all-glass show courts (pictured below, under construction).
France will be led by Camille Serme, the 23-year-old world No14 from Paris who will be making her fourth successive appearance in the event since making her debut in the 2006 championship in Canada. The former world No7 will be joined in the squad by world No41 Coline Aumard and championship debutantes Maud Duplomb and Laura Pomportes, ranked 71 & 63, respectively.
French team coach Philippe Signoret is looking forward to the championship: “Two years ago, in New Zealand, France achieved its best ranking with sixth place. The fact that the competition is organized in France adds an additional pressure for the team.
“It will be a pleasure to watch the girls progress in front of a French audience, which is rare for internationals events.”
France will begin their campaign in Pool H, where they will line up against Germany and Netherlands, the No8 seeds. Netherlands are led by world No11 Natalie Grinham. The former Australian is making her fourth appearance in the championship – but has not competed since 2004, and is unbeaten in the event since making her debut in 2000!
England have been named as top seeds, with 2008 champions Egypt as second seeds and Malaysia expected to finish third for the fourth time in a row..
Signoret admits that France will face some stiff opposition: “England will have a great team with players ranked in the top 10. Malaysia will also be strong, with Nicol David, the world number one and her compatriot Low Wee Wern (the world No11),” said Signoret.
“Egypt also has a strong potential. However, there are other teams that could surprise us, I am thinking about Ireland, who beat us in the European Championship.
“Our first goal is to achieve the quarter-finals and, only at this moment, we could think about the podium.”
Pool line-ups (with seeding in brackets):
Pool A:  England,  Scotland,  Republic of Korea
Pool B:  Egypt,  Wales,  Mexico
Pool C:  Malaysia,  South Africa,  China,  Spain
Pool D:  Hong Kong China,  Czech Republic,  Colombia,  Namibia
Pool E:  New Zealand,  USA,  Japan
Pool F:  Australia,  Canada,  Austria
Pool G:  Ireland,  India,  Argentina
Pool H:  Netherlands,  France,  Germany. —- WSF