The first world squash championship ever to be held in China will take place in September when the city of Dalian hosts the 2018 WSF Women's World Team Championship.
Dalian, a major city and seaport in the south of Liaoning Province, will stage the biennial World Squash Federation championship at the Xigang Gymnasium, from September 11-16, in another example of the worldwide reach of the sport as squash makes its case for Olympic inclusion.
The venue will feature three all-glass showcourts, with arena seating, plus four permanent all-glass courts.
Alongside hosts China, confirmed entries include Australia, Canada, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong China, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland and USA.
On awarding the rights to the event's new hosts, WSF President Jacques Fontaine said: “China is a member of the world squash family that is showing its maturity with this hosting.
“There have been major international championships held on showcourts in iconic settings such as the Bund in Shanghai, and now women players from across the globe are excited about playing the World Team Championship in the city of Dalian.
“We are very grateful to the Chinese Squash Association, Dalian Squash and the city authorities who have collaborated to bring this premier event to China. We know that the teams, officials and spectators will have a memorable time in Dalian.”
Mrs Zhao Liping, Vice-Dean of the Multiball Center of the General Sports Administration of China said: “The Women's World Team Championship 2018, which will be held in Dalian city of Liao Ning Province, is welcoming elite lady players from all over the world to compete together. The great squash event will definitely be a successful one, contributing to the development of the sport of squash in China as well as the world.”
On behalf of Dalian Squash, Mr Wang Guoguang commented: “It is our pleasure and honour to welcome so many elite women players from around the world to our XiGang Centre, where they will inspire the passionate Chinese squash community.
“Squash in China is growing quickly and hosting this prestigious championship demonstrates our capability.”
Since its launch in 1979, the Women's World Team Championship has been held in 11 different countries across all five continents – the most recent being France in 2016 when Egypt won the title for the third time, beating former champions England in the final in the capital Paris.