The World Players of Handball and the New York Athletic Club are thrilled to host the WPH Race 4 Eight V Stop #5 & the Burt Kossoff NYAC Invitational, featuring the top R48Pro and WR48Pro players in the world competing on handball’s most prestigious professional handball tour live on the Watch ESPN App.
The Women’s Race 4 Eight III Stop #2 features seven-time WR48 champion and NYAC sponsored athlete Catriona Casey looking to return to her winning ways after dropping her first match in her WR48 career in the finals of her last WR48 match at the 2015 Simple Green U.S. Open. “I was heartbroken to lose out in the tie-breaker (at the 2015 Simple Green U.S. Open) and felt I let myself down on the day.” To read the entire WPH NYAC interview with Catriona Casey, including the WPH WR48 #1’s views on her rivalry with Aisling Reilly, her training, her goals, and much more, go here
The NYAC’s Casey will have to contend with her NYAC teammates Tracy Davis and Danielle Daskalakis, two of the greatest all-around handball stars in the world and both in search of their first WR48 titles. Ireland’s 2015 WPH Breakout Star of the Year Martina McMahon will also be in search of her first R48 title. The sweet-swinging Irish lefty proved she can compete against any of the top women stars in the world at last April’s WR48 Player’s Championship, pushing two-time defending world champion Aisling Reilly to the limit in the semifinals. Canada’s Leslie Amminson, New York’s Sandy Ng, and Ireland’s Hilary Rushe round out a strong 2016 WR48 NYAC field.
The Race 4 Eight #1 pro, 5-time defending World Champion, defending NYAC Race 4 Eight Champion and NYAC sponsored athlete Paul Brady will be making the transatlantic trip from his home in Ireland to New York City in search of his 12th Race 4 Eight title in his 15th Race 4 Eight start. Brady will aim to bounce back from a sensational semifinal loss at last month’s Houston R48 V Stop #4 to Mando Ortiz. Ortiz enters the R48 V Stop #5 NYAC on the heels of his first R48 title, having defeated four former or current WPH #1 pros en route to the Houston title. Ortiz dispatched Brady for the second time in less than two years in “H Town” in what has become regarded as the greatest match in Race 4 Eight history. Ortiz followed up his dramatic victory against the NYAC’s Brady by defeating R48 #2 Sean Lenning in the final. To read “Marvelous Mando Ortiz Crowned Champion,” go here
Brady and Ortiz will contend with not only one another, but also their fellow “Elite 8” rivals in New York City. Current WPH R48 Player’s Champion and WPH #2 Sean Lenning will be hungry for his third R48 title in less than a year, 9-time R48 Champion Luis Moreno will seek to end his 13-tournament R48 drought, San Francisco Olympic Club’s Olympian of the Year Emmett Peixoto will look to regain the form that saw him advance to a R48 final last season, Irish sensation Killian Carroll will be seeking his second R48 final in three events, R48 V New Orleans semifinalist David Fink will look to rebound from a first-round loss in Houston, and 2015 WPH R48 Rookie of the Year Daniel Cordova will be seeking a deep run in the “Big Apple.”
Hear what Paul Brady and Mando Ortiz have to say about New York here
The NYAC has also attracted arguably one of the most talented R48 qualifiers in the five-year history of the Race 4 Eight tour, with 9th ranked R48 pro and former R48 “Elite 8” member Luis Cordova, former WPH #1 and R48 Champion Allan Garner, former “Elite 8” member Stephen Cooney, SR48 #1 Marcos Chavez, Ireland’s Michael Gregan, Gabhain McCrystall, Colin Crehan, Canada’s Ryan Bowler, and top U.S. qualifier hopefuls Nik Nahorniak, Mike Schneider, Billy O’Donnell, Jonathan Iglesias, Anthony Selestow, Tyler Stevens, Dave Munson, and Erik Torres in the loaded NYAC field.
“The NYAC qualifier is so strong that we’ll likely see top 15 pros fail to qualify and those that do qualify likely to reek havoc in the main draw,” revealed WPH ESPN play-by-play broadcaster David Vincent.
The WPH Race 4 Eight V NYAC Stop #5 & Bert Kossoff Invitational Powered by ESPN features not only the best pro handball players in the game, but also exciting junior clinics featuring Race 4 Eight pros coaching junior and collegiate players. The WPH sponsored Westside YMCA Harry Mellis Program will be on hand to receive coaching from the game’s best players in a special Saturday clinic. What a treat!
WPH RACE 4 EIGHT: The World Players of Handball’s Race 4 Eight V powered by ESPN features seven regular season stops, culminating in The Player’s Championship in Portland, OR to identify the top eight point earners on the tour. Similar to Nascar’s Nextel Cup and the FedEx PGA Playoffs, players earn points in the Race 4 Eight’s first six stops to qualify for the season-ending Player’s Championship and $20k first place prize. It all happens live on Watch ESPN!
The Race 4 Eight V held its first event in October of 2015 at the Simple Green U.S. Open in Fountain Valley, CA and its second event at the R48 V Tucson Memorial in November. Following a holiday break in December, Race 4 Eight hosted its third event in New Orleans in January of 2016, the fourth event in Houston in February, the fifth event in New York City, the sixth event in Salt Lake City, UT in April and The Player’s Championship in Portland, OR in May.
For more information on the Race 4 Eight V Tour please contact World Players of Handball Executive Director David Vincent at firstname.lastname@example.org or World Players of Handball Development Director David Fink at email@example.com. For more information on the World Players of Handball, please visit wphlive.tv