US SQUASH

Team USA Targets Record Medal Haul at Pan American Games in Peru

(l-r): Coach Thierry Lincou, Amanda Sobhy, Sabrina Sobhy, Chris Hanson, Andrew Douglas, Todd Harrity, the Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach Paul Assaiante, Olivia Blatchford Clyne

Six American squash players will join 637 other Team USA athletes representing thirty-six different sports, as they vie for another record medal haul at the quadrennial Pan American Games, July 25-31, in Lima, Peru.

Team USA squash will aim to emulate its performance at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, where the U.S. topped the medal table for the first time with a best ever finish including three gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals. The 2019 Lima Games present a first for squash with the introduction of a mixed doubles competition, meaning seven gold medals will be on offer in Lima.

Individual draws and seeding have been released here with the competition set to lead off the squash portion of the games Thursday, July 25. For more Team USA coverage of the Pan American Games, visit teamusa.org/lima2019.

The opening ceremony will take place July 26. A total of 6,668 athletes representing forty-one North and South American nations will compete in the Pan American Games as a whole, July 24-August 11.

“There is no greater honor for an American squash player than to be wearing USA on your back and walking shoulder-to-shoulder with Olympic athletes during the opening ceremony in front of 60,000 people,” said Paul Assaiante, the Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach, who will lead the U.S. squad for a second straight Pan American Games. “We’re ready to play today, and are all dressed up and ready to go.”

The six members of Team USA squash include four returning team members from 2015 and two new, young faces.

Amanda Sobhy, who became the first squash player to earn three gold medals in Pan Ams history at the Toronto games in individuals, team and doubles, returns in search of three more gold medals. The twenty-six-year-old enters the competition as the highest-ranked player in the women’s field—world No. 8. Olivia Blatchford Clyne, world No. 20, a returning gold medal-winning team member and individual silver medalist, is set for her third Pan Am Games appearance. Sabrina Sobhy, Amanda’s younger sister and a recent Harvard graduate, is set for her Pan Am Games debut. The Sobhy sisters will be favorites in the women’s doubles competition having won gold at the 2018 Pan American Championships.

The U.S. men are led by returning Pan Am Games team bronze medalists Todd Harrity and Chris Hanson. Harrity, world No. 44 and reigning U.S. champion, will lead the American charge in the men’s team and individuals as the highest-ranked member of the squad. Hanson, world No. 72 and 2017 and 2018 U.S. champion, will prove to be a versatile team member having also won a doubles bronze medal in Toronto, and as a left-handed player on the doubles court. Andrew Douglas, a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania, is set to make his Pan Am Games debut at just twenty years old. Douglas was a part of the bronze medal-winning U.S. men’s team at the 2018 Pan Am Championships.

The U.S. squad recently trained together alongside the US Squash Academy at Drexel University in Philadelphia in what was their final session before the Pan Ams.

“It’s always good for everyone to get together and feel like a team in an individual sport,” Assaiante said. “For the singles, we followed Thierry Lincou’s training regimen and then we were very focused on the softball doubles. We trained with Alan Clyne and John White, two accomplished softball doubles veterans and Commonwealth Games medalists, and they put the team through the rounds. Those sessions were tremendously productive and now we’re just anxious to get down there on those courts.”

In 2015, Team USA overtook Mexico in second place of the Pan American Games squash all-time medal table, and will hope to continue its push towards table-leading Canada with another medal haul in Peru.

Draws and seeding will be released in the coming days as the individual and doubles competitions lead off the squash events, July 25-28, which culminates with the team event, July 28-31. Follow @TeamUSASquash on Twitter for more updates as draws are released.

“We’re thrilled to support this incredible group of athletes, ensuring that every member of Team USA can pursue their goals in a safe and healthy environment,” said USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland. “The Pan American Games are a unique opportunity for athletes to represent our country and inspire young and old. I look forward to cheering them on and wish them great success, on and off the field of play.”

For more coverage of the Pan American Games, or to purchase tickets to attend the games visit lima2019.pe.en.

 

 

 

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