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Tucson, AZ, WPH Press, 8/13/18– Killian Carroll and Catriona Casey are the world’s undisputed #1 stars with just one glaring exception to their already spectacular resumes: a world title.
Carroll and Casey grew up together in the County Cork in the southwest portion of Ireland, also known as the “People’s Republic of Cork.” These two handball superstars started playing handball together at the age of eight in the county of 542,196, quickly becoming best friends and idolizing County Cork legend Tony Healy. Both Carroll and Casey demonstrated an aptitude and passion for the game as youngsters, with that aptitude and passion fueling thousands of hours of practice to become the world’s best. The pair started traveling to the United States as teenagers to compete in the USHA Four Wall Junior Nationals and eventually emerged on the world stage in their late teens.
Carroll announced himself on the world stage at the 2012 World Handball Championships in Ireland, pushing the then invincible Paul Brady in two grueling games in the round of 16.
“This kid is the next ‘Paul Brady’ ..mark my words,” barked WPH play-by-play announcer and Executive Director David Vincent after watching the 19-year old Carroll push the reigning world champion to the limit back in 2012.
Casey also announced herself on the world stage as a 19-year old in 2012, dismantling a strong field to win the 2012 USHA Collegiate Nationals in Missouri. “Catriona is the best woman to ever play the sport,” declared the late great David Chapman after watching Casey play for the first time.
The successes continued for the dynamic pair from County Cork, with Casey dominating the Women’s Race 4 Eight tour with 15 titles in 17 WR48 events since the inception of the tour in 2013, in addition to four consecutive USHA Four Wall National singles titles, All Ireland titles, and WPH Outdoor titles. Carroll started playing the Race 4 Eight tour full time in 2015, defeating Paul Brady en route to winning the 2016 Race 4 Eight Player’s Championship, eventually dominating the tour by and winning 10 of his next 13 R48 starts through May of 2018, including three consecutive R48 Player’s Championships. Carroll also added two consecutive USHA Four Wall National crowns in 2016 and 2017, ousting 10-time national champion Paul Brady in both finals.
The only omission from the Cork duo’s resume is the World Championship. Shockingly, Casey did not enter the open bracket World Championships in 2012, and came painstakingly close to winning her first open world championship in her first open start in Canada in 2015, losing 11-7 in a tiebreaker to Aisling Reilly after standing just three points from the title in game two. In Carroll’s two World Championship starts, the R48 #1 lost to Brady as a teenager in the round of 16 of the 2012 World Championships and lost to Brady again in Canada in 2015, this time in the final.
Neither Carroll nor Casey will be representing Team Ireland at the 2018 World Championships, as Carroll did not play in the 2018 All Ireland 40×20 Championships and Casey lost to Martina McMahon 21-20 in the third game of the 2018 All Ireland 40×20 Championships. If either Carroll or Casey has a chip on his or her shoulder from being excluded from Team Ireland in 2018 despite both being ranked #1 and being seeded first at the World Championships, they won’t say. That doesn’t mean they don’t.
Both Carroll and Casey will enter the toughest draw of the season as the overwhelming favorites, a compliment to their sensational skills and the product of their dominance. Based on the Cork pair’s form over the past three years since both lost in the final of the 2015 World Championships, it would be shocking if one or both don’t leave Minnesota with their first world titles.
Killian Carroll bio HERE
Catriona Casey bio HERE
Race 4 Eight pro player bios here
Race 4 Eight Power Rankings: HERE
To view the Men’s Open Singles draw at the World Championships, go HERE
To view the Women’s 4-Wall Open Singles draw at the World Championships, go HERE
To view the WPH World Championships preview, go HERE
Buy Team USA gear HERE
Broadcast links to watch the World Championships, starting on Tuesday, August 14 HERE
Follow the World Championships at wphlive.tv and ushandball.org
WPH Senior Writer
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