Todd Harrity, Shahjahan Khan, Andrew Douglas and Chris Gordon will represent Team USA at the 2021 WSF Men’s World Team Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The U.S. squad sees three members return from the 2019 team that finished thirteenth at Squash on Fire in Washington, DC, with Khan set to make his full debut for Team USA. The 2021 Men’s World Teams also marks the first event with Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach Ong Beng Hee at the helm since taking over the position from Paul Assaiante this season.
“We have a very balanced team in terms of age, experience and skill level,” Ong said. “We have veterans and leaders like Todd Harrity and Chris Gordon, and exciting young players like Shahjahan Khan who is doing well on the pro tour and Andrew Douglas who is balancing college and squash and has a lot of talent and promise. I feel like we have a very strong team for this tournament.”
Harrity, world No. 43, and Khan, world No. 45, both earned their place the team courtesy of top fifty rankings. Douglas and Gordon emerged as the top two players during a Team USA playoff to complete the squad earlier this month at the Specter Center. Gordon augments his record as the most-capped American at the Men’s World Teams as the world No. 63 prepares for his seventh tournament appearance.
“This is a unique team event that only happens every two years and having the resources of the Specter Center gives us a huge advantage and has helped us build team spirit and cohesion,” Ong said. “This is my first experience leading Team USA in a world team event and we’re not sure what our draw is yet, but we want to improve on our last men’s world teams result. It will be a strange feeling for me going home to Malaysia while representing the U.S. I really hope that we don’t play Malaysia, but we’re there to do well and hope to come back home with a good result.”
Khan, a twenty-six-year-old Seattle native, is set to pull on the Team USA jersey for the first time in Malaysia after officially changing national affiliations from Pakistan this summer.
“I feel more than prepared, I’ve been having a great time at the Specter Center over the last few weeks, the training has been top notch with Coach Beng Hee and Coach Brigita,” Khan said. “They’ve been really helpful for my game and the facilities here have given me a real advantage. I feel stronger mentally and physically. Being able to discuss strategies and have a different insight from Beng Hee has really helped me improve. It will be a dream to wear the USA jersey for the first time. I’d like to thank US Squash and the entire team, they’ve been so helpful and I really appreciate all of their support. I feel we have a strong team and look forward to seeing what we can do.”
Twenty-three nations are set to compete in the biennial tournament as Egypt aim to retain their 2019 title. Team USA will learn its pool placement and seeding closer to the event.