Saturday,21 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1244, (30 April - 6 May 2015)
Saturday,21 October, 2017
Issue 1244, (30 April - 6 May 2015)

Ahram Weekly

From Egypt to Eindhoven

Habiba Mohamed
Habiba Mohamed
Al-Ahram Weekly

THE WORLD Squash Federation (WSF) has confirmed that Holland will replace Egypt as host of the 2015 World Junior Squash Championships because of security concerns.

The 10-day event is scheduled to be held in Eindhoven, Netherlands, during the same period as was scheduled for the event before its recent move from Cairo.

The 2015 WSF World Junior Championships, comprising individual men and women under-19 events followed by the biennial junior women’s team event, will now be held in Eindhoven from 26-30 July, with the Women’s Team Championships following from 31 July to 4 August.

The championships will be hosted by the Dutch Squash Federation, in conjunction with the 15-court Squashtime Centre.

WSF President N Ramachandran thanked the new host for organising the event. “After the very unfortunate need to relocate the event, we were very grateful that our friends from Netherlands – who have great facilities and extensive event experience – were in a position to offer an option that allows the cream of young players from all over the world to contest their world titles as scheduled. While we very much hope to return to Egypt soon, for this year we thank our new hosts.”

Egypt was awarded the honour to host the event in September 2014, not the first time Egypt had hosted elite squash tournaments. Egypt, winners of the biennial title for the fourth time in a row in Poland in 2013, last hosted the event in 2003.

However, pressure came from some federations, including the US and Qatar, requesting moving the championship to another venue, claiming that Egypt was not a safe venue in the wake of sporadic bomb blasts by members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The two federations requested to host the event instead.

According to reports, the WSF had to relent to the pressure but to save face, awarded Holland the right to host, not the countries which had objected to Egypt.

On winning the bid to host the 2015 championship to Cairo in September last year, Egyptian Squash Federation President Assem Khalifa said at the time: “We are proud of the achievements of all our juniors and it will be our great pleasure for them to have the opportunity to compete for the world junior titles in our own country. We are also delighted to be able to welcome all the best young overseas players so that they can experience Egyptian hospitality.”

Ramachandran had added then, “Egypt not only has a rich and long tradition of squash excellence but this is coupled with their formidable production line of juniors. We are delighted that they will again be hosting a WSF event and look forward to an excellent edition.”

Chairman of the Dutch Squash Federation Hans Arends assured the participants of a great event. “We are very happy to be able to help the WSF with organising the 2015 World Junior Squash Championships. We have an enthusiastic crew ready to make the tournament an unforgettable event for the players, staff and spectators.”

Both individual world champions Habiba Mohamed of Egypt and Diego Elias of Peru will be back to defend the 2014 titles they won in Namibia last year. Elias became his country’s first ever world squash champion and 15-year-old Mohamed has a potential record four world junior titles in her sights.

The 2015 Women’s World Junior Team Championship is likely to see Egypt seeded to win the trophy for a record fifth time in a row.

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