Botswana boast breakthrough!

Alister Walker, who developed his squash 1st in England, then in the US, added: "I used to play in juniors with most of the team so we get on very well." (photo Steve Cubbins)

“Our first championship – and our first win,” exclaimed the exuberant Botswana No1 Alister Walker as he stepped off the court after winning the decider against Poland on the 2nd day of qualifying in the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship in France.

Both Poland and Botswana are making their debuts in the 24th edition of the biennial event which is being held in France for the first time. Lekgotla Mosope put Botswana ahead with an 11-1, 11-4, 12-10 victory over Marcin Karwowski, but Pole Lukasz Stachowski fought back, beating Koketso Ntshebe in 4 games to level proceedings. It then took just 22 minutes for Walker, the US-based world No15, to despatch Poland’s top-ranked Wojtek Nowisz 11-7, 11-2, 11-5 to clinch victory.

“It will definitely be good for squash in Botswana and will help us get recognition from the relevant bodies,” said Botswana Squash President TK Rabasha afterwards. “It will give them an appreciation of what squash can do for the country. And hopefully it will help us attract sponsors.

The top 3 seeds Egypt, England and France posted 3/0 wins. Defending champions Egypt beat Scotland, while second seeds England defeated 15th seeds Canada and host France overcame Pakistan.

All results at the official event website: