Todd Harrity, Chris Hanson, Andrew Douglas and Chris Gordon will represent Team USA at the 2019 WSF Men’s World Team Championship–the first time the biennial event has been held on U.S. soil–December 15-21 at Squash on Fire in Washington, DC.
The squad is led by the three Pan Am Games team gold medalists–Harrity, Hanson and Douglas–who made history this summer in Lima, Peru. Veteran Chris Gordon rounds out the four-man squad and becomes the first player to represent Team USA at the Men’s World Team Championship seven times, exceeding his coach and mentor Richard Chin, who made six world teams appearances from 1993-2007.
Team USA will be lead by Paul Assaiante, the Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach, and National Coach Thierry Lincou. Assaiante hopes that the U.S. will be able to build on its historic Pan American Games success, and harness the energy of the home crowd.
“We’ve got three gold-medal-winning Pan American champions and Chris Gordon, who has a world of experience and wisdom and a calm assurance,” Assaiante said. “If you bring all of that together that’s a very good squad. Obviously when you go from the Pan American Games to the Word Team Championship, the cards get stacked up much higher. Now you’re looking at teams like Egypt, England, France and Australia. Like everything else in life, the whole is more than the combination of the individual parts. Having a strong U.S. feeling and to be playing on home soil for the first time–I think the guys are super psyched. We get to go and measure where we are against the very best in the world. If you can’t get excited for that you’re in the wrong business.”
This summer at the Pan American Games, Team USA earned its first men’s team gold medal since squash joined the games in 1995, upsetting Mexico and Colombia in the semifinals and final. Team USA achieved its best men’s world teams finish of sixth place in 2011, and most recently placed tenth at the 2017 world teams in France.
“You want to build,” Assaiante said. “Everyday you want to build on the day before. On one level, the Pan Am Games was an other worldly outcome, and we were so happy to have achieved that. But it should give us confidence that under pressure we’ll be able to perform. Our sport isn’t like track and field where you have personal records. At the highest levels, the challenge is can you perform on the world stage with all of the pressure on you and be at the top of your game? The Pan Ams experience will allow us to play closer to our individual and team potential against higher levels of competition. Now if the competition is better than us, we shake their hands, but I don’t see a big drop off in our standard so it will be very exciting to see what we can do.”
Harrity leads the U.S. delegation as the highest-ranked player at world No. 49. The 2019 national champion returns for his third men’s world teams appearance, having contributed to the record sixth place finish in 2011 and the most recent tournament in 2017.
“I have played in several World Team Championships, but they have never been in my home country,” Harrity said. “I really hope that there is a big crowd in DC. There’s something magical about playing in your home country, with everyone who’s helped you right there with you, not in spirit, but right there, behind the glass. It’ll be a pleasure and an honor playing for my home, on my home ground.”
Hanson, a two-time men’s national champion and world No. 66, is set for his second men’s world teams having made his debut in 2017. Douglas, a junior at Penn, is set for his men’s world teams debut.
Tickets for all rounds of the tournament are available on worldteamsquash.com/tickets and start from $25.
For more information and tournament coverage visit worldteamsquashdc.com.