Reigning world champion Carol Owens has reached the point of no return. Born and bred in Australia, 30-year-old Owens will do something unthinkable a few years ago - she will represent New Zealand. Owens is looking forward to the day when she will fly the Kiwi flag at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester - the first official tournament where she will represent her new country. Her change of allegiance took three years and all the support and encouragement for the Melbourne-born player to do what she thought was best for herself. 'I am now preparing to change allegiance and I will be eligible to represent New Zealand in September, although it won't be until next year before I play for my new country. 'We normally compete as individuals in most tournaments. The Commonwealth Games is different though,' said Owens, who will compete in next week's Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open. World number two Owens has become the latest player to change allegiance, following men's world number one Peter Nicol, who now represents England from his native Scotland. Owens took the steps to ensure she had the best life she could have in squash. That's why she decided to make the drastic decision to leave Australia and make her base in New Zealand. She currently resides in Auckland where her coach, Paul Wright, also lives and has been a New Zealand resident for three years - the minimum required to earn national representation. 'The last time I represented Australia it was the last Commonwealth Games in 1998. I made the decision to represent New Zealand because I was training and competing well there and everybody was supportive of me,' said Owens, who will defend her World Open title in Melbourne in October. 'I just received a grant from the New Zealand Sports Foundation and they have been very supportive,' said Owens, who won the World Open title last November. Owens had her first workout in the SAR at the Hong Kong Sports Institute in Sha Tin, where she had a hit-out with local ace Rebecca Chiu yesterday. Chiu will challenge world number 10 Stephanie Brind instead of injured world number six Tania Bailey in the first round of the Hong Kong Open. Owens will take on Malaysia's Nicol David.