Squash appoints firm to develop innovative court technology as Olympic bid showcased
Friday, 30 November 2012
November 30 - The Professional Squash Association (PSA) has joined forces with the world's biggest squash court manufacturer, ASB, to enhance the spectator experience as the sport bids for a place at the 2020 Olympics.
The results of the partnership are already being realised, as the latest ASB all-glass show court features at the semi-finals and finals of this week's PSA World Series Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open – the event being used to showcase the sport to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
With doors in the sidewalls to eliminate the central door on the back wall, the unique court has been erected at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on the waterfront at Tsim Sha Tsui for the tournament, which concludes on Sunday (December 2).
The IOC delegates visiting Hong Kong will witness the best squash has to offer with the impressive men's field led by Britain's defending champion and world number one James Willstrop (pictured top, right), and the women's by Malaysian Nicol David, the world number one since August 2006, who is expected to win the title for a record eighth time in a row since 2005.
Following the Hong Kong Open, squash will make its latest submission and presentation to the IOC Programme Commission on December 19, in what is the sport's third attempt to make it into the Olympics after failing to become part of either the London 2012 or Rio 2016 Games.
The new PSA agreement with ASB will deliver a boost to the bid as it will help progress court technology and increase glass court awareness to events around the world.
"We are delighted to announce this new agreement with ASB to become the official court partner of the PSA," said Lee Beachill, a former world number one and now the PSA's chief operating officer.
"ASB are without doubt the most innovative court manufacturer on the market today and are constantly looking at new ways to enhance the squash viewing experience.
"We hope to work closely with them over the next period to further improve this product and showcase the spectacular attributes of professional squash."
The Olympic sport selection process will run until September 2013, when the IOC will announce the accepted sport, with the other 2020 contenders being climbing, karate, roller sports, wakeboard, wushu and, jointly baseball and softball.
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