Host nation France overcame Hong Kong China on the final day of qualification at the 2016 WSF Women's World Team Squash Championship to top Pool D and set up a quarter-final clash with sixth seeds Australia in the quarter-final stage in Paris.
Hong Kong China took the lead on the all-glass showcourt at the Palais Des Sports Robert Charpentier after World No.18 Joey Chan defeated France’s Coline Aumard in straight games.
France drew level courtesy of World No.5 Camille Serme beating Annie Au, before Laura Pomportes struck up a two-game lead against Liu Tsz-Ling, only to see the player from Hong Kong fight back to restore parity, evoking memories of their last meeting at the tournament where Liu completed the comeback to consign France to second place in the pool.
But Pomportes was backed to the hilt by vocal home support, and she dug in to close out the victory, ensuring France took top spot over Hong Kong China.
“Laura and I had already spoken about that match two years ago and she was mentally prepared,” said French national coach Philippe Signoret.
“It's good to win the pool, but the job is not finished yet, we still have a lot of work to do.”
In Pool C, a Malaysian trio of Nicol David, Delia Arnold and the latter’s younger sister, Rachel, helped their country to a 3-0 win over Austria to finish first in the pool ahead of Australia, who dispatched the Netherlands – with debutant Tamika Saxby playing a starring role as she continued her recovery from a year-long injury break to beat Milja Dorenbos.
“I was really excited to play today and enjoyed playing the decider knowing that the rest of the girls wanted me to get the job done,” Saxby revealed.
“I had no idea I'd be here six months ago when I hadn't played for a year after getting over an illness, so all this today is totally surreal.”
Top seeds Egypt became the first nation to score maximum points in their pool after storming to a 3-0 win over Mexico, the number thirteen seeds, to top Pool A.
World No.2 and World No.3 Raneem El Welily and Nouran Gohar both recorded straight games wins before Omneya Abdel Kawy celebrated her 50th match in the championships since making her debut 18 years ago by beating 15-year-old Mexican Dina Anguiano Gomez.
New Zealand finished second after beating India, while England and the USA have advanced from Pool B after respective wins over Wales and Canada.
Results – Final Qualifying Round: 2016 WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship
 EGYPT bt  MEXICO 3/0
Raneem El Welily bt Nayelly Hernandez 11-9, 11-6, 11-2 (21m)
Nouran Gohar bt Diana Garcia 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (21m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy bt Dina Anguiano Gomez 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (13m)
 NEW ZEALAND bt  INDIA 2/1
Megan Craig lost to Dipika Pallikal Karthik 6-11, 7-11, 5-11 (26m)
Joelle King bt Joshna Chinappa 11-5, 11-3, 5-11, 13-11 (45m)
Amanda Landers-Murphy bt Sunayna Kuruvilla 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (24m)
Final positions: 1 Egypt, 2 New Zealand, 3 India, 4 Mexico
 ENGLAND bt  WALES 2/1
Sarah-Jane Perry bt Hannah Davies 11-1, 11-5, 11-3 (19m)
Alison Waters lost to Tesni Evans 13-15, 9-11, 5-11 (41m)
Victoria Lust bt Nia Davies 11-2, 11-6, 11-6 (17m)
 USA bt  CANADA 2/1
Olivia Blatchford lost to Samantha Cornett 8-11, 7-11, 7-11 (37m)
Amanda Sobhy bt Hollie Naughton 11-2, 11-5, 11-3 (19m)
Sabrina Sobhy bt Danielle Letourneau 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 11-2 (37m)
Final positions: 1 England, 2 USA, 3 Canada, 4 Wales
 MALAYSIA bt  AUSTRIA 3/0
Delia Arnold bt Sabrina Rehman 11-3, 11-3, 11-8 (21m)
Nicol David bt Sandra Polak 11-3, 11-2, 11-1 (17m)
Rachel Arnold bt Judith van der Merwe 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (19m)
 AUSTRALIA bt  NETHERLANDS 2/1
Rachael Grinham lost to Milou van der Heijden 7-11, 10-12, 13-11, 12-14
Donna Urquhart bt Natalie Grinham 11-4, 11-6, 11-8 (21m)
Tamika Saxby bt Milja Dorenbos 11-2, 6-11, 11-1, 11-6 (26m)
Final positions: 1 Malaysia, 2 Australia, 3 Netherlands, 4 Austria
 JAPAN bt  GERMANY 2/1
Satomi Watanabe bt Franziska Hennes 11-1, 11-7, 11-5 (20m)
Misaki Kobayashi bt Sina Wall 11-5, 11-5, 11-3 (18m)
Risa Sugimoto lost to Saskia Beinhard 8-11, 11-8, 18-20, 13-15 (44m)
 FRANCE bt  HONG KONG CHINA 2/1
Coline Aumard lost to Joey Chan 4-11, 9-11, 6-11 (37m)
Camille Serme bt Annie Au 11-7, 13-15, 11-9, 11-9 (51m)
Laura Pomportes bt Liu Tsz-Ling 11-6, 15-13, 6-11, 11-7 (48m)
Final positions: 1 France, 2 Hong Kong China, 3 Japan, 4 Spain, 5 Germany
 EGYPT v  USA
 FRANCE v  AUSTRALIA
 MALAYSIA v  HONG KONG CHINA
 ENGLAND v  NEW ZEALAND
9th – 12th place play-offs (round robin):
 INDIA v  NETHERLANDS
 CANADA v  JAPAN
 INDIA v  JAPAN
 CANADA v  NETHERLANDS
 INDIA v  CANADA
 NETHERLANDS v  JAPAN
15th – 17th place play-offs:
 MEXICO v  GERMANY
 WALES v  SPAIN