AFTER a slow start, NMMU have lined up a strong field for their squash tournament, sponsored by Brian Bands Sports, starting at the campus today.
Heading the men's A section will be top South African players Adrian Hansen (KwaZulu-Natal) and Rudi Willemse (Western Province), who have been loyal supporters of tournaments in the province.
Earlier this year, Hansen and Willemse contested the final of the Rhodes Open in Grahamstown, with the WP man coming through 3-2. The odds are good that they will contest Sunday's final.
Yet those two will not be able to take things lightly because another KZN player, Gary Wheadon, will be pushing hard to make the trip to PE worthwhile.
To illustrate how close it should be, on the Squash SA website, Hansen stands at five in the national rankings, Willemse is eight and Wheadon a further place back.
There will also be a strong Eastern Cape challenge, led by Border No2 and Crusaders Challenge champion Jason le Roux, with the Schwarz brothers, Kyle and Zane, also in the mix.
The women's field, which has been split into two sections, is headed by top EP players Lizelle Goosen and Jacqui Ryder, and it will take a major upset to prevent them contesting Sunday's final.
The draws are:
Men's A section, first round: 1-A Hansen v 16-J Thiel, 2-R Willemse v 15-G Plaatjies, 3-G Wheadon v 14-L Sigele, 4-J le Roux v 13-R Botha, 5-Z Schwarz v 12-M Marshall, 6-K Schwarz v 11-S Erasmus, 7-P Phillipou v 10-T Mngcete, 8-B Nomkala v 9-B Forbes.
Women, A section: L Goosen, L O'Grady, S O'Grady, K Pearson; B section: R Kennerly, K Dodd, J Ryder, R Boy.