Today marks one year to go until The World Games 2022 gets under way in Birmingham, Alabama.
The World Games is held every four years and is a multi-sport event which features over 30 sports – including squash – on the programme, while over 3,600 athletes will descend on Birmingham next year between July 7-17, 2021.
Squash was inducted onto The World Games programme in 1997 in Lahti, Finland, when Egypt’s Ahmed Barada and Australia’s Sarah Fitz-Gerald took the men’s and women’s gold medals, respectively.
Since then, former World No.1s such as Peter Nicol, Nick Matthew and Gregory Gaultier have won gold in the men’s event, while legendary Malaysian Nicol David is the most successful squash athlete at The World Games, with three gold medals to her name.
Germany’s Simon Rösner and France’s Camille Serme are the most recent winners, beating Gregoire Marche of France and Joey Chan of Hong Kong in the 2017 finals in Wroclaw, Poland.
The squash programme at The World Games 2022 will be held between July 13-17 days and will see 64 athletes – 32 men and 32 women – compete for glory at the University of Alabama at Birmingham rec centre.
WSF President Zena Wooldridge has highlighted the importance of squash’s continued presence at major multi-sport events such as The World Games, saying: “The World Games provides a unique window to showcase squash to a global audience and to showcase the incredible skill and athleticism of our best squash players.”
“We were so excited and proud when Nicol was voted The World Games’ Greatest Athlete last year. It reflects the importance to squash of being part of The World Games family and the richness of the multi-sport games experience for athletes.”
“I’m very much looking forward to experiencing my first World Games and I’m sure it will be a week to remember for all those involved in Birmingham Alabama next July.”
Serme, the 2017 women’s World Games gold medallist, is looking forward to competing in Alabama next year, saying: “Winning the gold medal at the World Games was really cool.
“It was nice to win an event like this, with other French athletes cheering. It’s going to be exciting to go to Alabama to play the next one, and hopefully many players will come.
“It’s a very special event, it’s so cool to meet other athletes. It’s our Olympic Games kind of and very cool.”