At the Sports Mall there are:
- Over 600 players thinking kill shots and rollouts and the title as the nation's best racquetball doubles team.- 144 players with hometown labels.
- Between now and the finals Sunday, over 1,000 matches will have been played on the 13 courts at the Sports Mall.
- By late Sunday, 34 champions will have been crowned.
- Before the last point is scored, four teams will be placed on the U.S. Olympic Festival racquetball team from this event.
- And, worth mentioning, is the fact that most of the world's top racquetball players are here for the kill shots, rollout, titles and, hopefully, an invitation to the U.S. Team.
The U.S. National Doubles Racquetball Championships, sponsored by Cannon Industries and Ken Garff Motors, opened Wednesday afternoon. After playing through the 34 brackets, the finals will be played Sunday afternoon.
Through early rounds played on Wednesday, there were no upsets of note. Seeded players won and challenging unseeded players learned.
Seeded No. 1 are Doug Ganim of Columbus, Ohio, and Dan Obremski of Pittsburgh, Penn. Ganim, a racquetball promoter, and Obremski, a racquetball professional, have won this title for two consecutive years.
Their secret, said one official, is that their "games blend to make one powerful team. They have no weaknesses."
Ganim, 25, has been playing for 12 years. Obrenski, 27, has been playing for 11 years.
The No. 2 team is Egan Inoue of Honolulu, and Brian Hawkes of Santa Ana, Calif. Hawkes, 27, started the game 15 years ago. Since 1981, he has been national outdoor singles champion seven times. Inoue, 25, started nine years ago. He won the World title in 1986 and 1990.
Back to defend her title as half of the women's doubles team will be Michelle Gilman. Gilman, a student at Boise State, was runner-up in the World Championships and was the gold medalist in the U.S. Olympic Festivals. Her winning doubles partner from last year couldn't play because of a shoulder injury. For this event she will team with Jacqueline Paraiso, 24, of El Cajon, Calif.
Among the local players to watch are Rick Strout with partner Rick Wiseman in the men's 30-plus; Tim Storey and his son, Eric, age 13, in the men's A; and John Packard and Steve Black in the open.
The event, with the exceptions of the finals, is free to the public. Matches will begin early each day. Open divisions will begin at 1 p.m.