Chris Gordon and Julian Illingworth, the top two players on the United States Men’s National Team, travel to Cali, Colombia this week to compete on the world stage in the ninth iteration of the World Games.
The multidisciplinary sports event commenced on July 25 involving over 4, 500 athletes representing more than 100 countries with squash and the World Squash Federation joining 30 other sports and federations.
The squash event involves Men’s and Women’s sixteen-player draws to be played out Friday, August 2- Sunday, August 4.
Illingworth, World no. 35, slots in as a 9/16 seed with his target set on first round opponent and eight seed Ryan Cuskelly, who lies only eight positions ahead of the American in the world rankings at 27.
World no. 45 Gordon, also a 9/16 seed, faces Japan international Ryosei Kobayashi in a play-in match. Should both Americans advance after their opening matches, Illingworth and Gordon could potentially face the one and two seeds respectively in the quarterfinals.
Both players are relishing the opportunity to represent their country again on the world stage.
“Similar to the Pan-Am games, the World Games will be a unique experience because the squash is a part of something much bigger than itself, and so it’s always fun to be in that atmosphere with athletes from so many other sports, ” Illingworth said.
“I’m also excited to see some interesting sports that I haven’t seen before, especially futsol, tug of war, and jujitsu.”
Gordon looks forward to an event that has an “almost mini Olympic Games feel.”
“The World Games is a special event because it showcases many unique sports that don’t often get the widespread public attention of more mainstream Olympic sports. It’s a very exciting opportunity and I look forward to being a part of the energy that this kind of event creates, ” Gordon said.
The Men’s draw also includes Frenchman and World no. 2 Gregory Gaultier as the one seed, England’s World no. 7 Peter Barker on the opposite end of the draw as two seed, and German Simon Rosner as the three seed. Olympic bid ambassador and World no. 1 Nicol David is unsurprisingly the top seed in the Women’s draw as squash looks to impress the International Olympic Committee in September in this IOC-recognized sporting event.
Visit the official 2013 World Games website for more information.
Follow results via the World Squash Federation here.