Sunday,24 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1333, (23 February - 1 March 2017)
Sunday,24 February, 2019
Issue 1333, (23 February - 1 March 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Men, move over

The Red Sea resort of El-Gouna has added the PSA Women’s World Squash Championship to its annual Squash Open for men

World Squash Championship
World Squash Championship

The PSA Women’s World Squash Championship is a new addition alongside the Men’s Open in the Red Sea resort of El-Gouna. Newer still, the women will win more money than the men.

The announcement was made at a press conference held last week at a five-star hotel attended by the minister of youth and sports.

The double championship will be held from 5-14 April. Fifty-six male and female players representing 15 countries are expected to participate in the 10-day event: Egypt, England, Malaysia, France, Holland, India, Pakistan, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, New Zealand, Kuwait, Malta, Italy and Spain.

The event’s organiser, former squash star and ex-national team coach Amr Mansi had sought to host a women’s squash competition in El-Gouna since last year and was able to make the dream a reality after persuading El-Gouna’s owners.

“The PSA Women World Squash Championship has always been held in Malaysia so I thought why not hold both events in Egypt’s El-Gouna especially since we are hosting the men’s event for the sixth consecutive year, and it has been a success every time,” Mansi said.

“The players enjoy the terrific weather of the Red Sea and they have a chance to experience the facilities of El-Gouna and enjoy the marvelous Red Sea waters. I think it will be a tremendous event by holding the two events at one time,” Mansi added.

He said Egypt needs to host such big events to send a message to the world that it is “a safe and peaceful place” capable of hosting huge events successfully.

Mansi announced that the first place winner in the men’s event will receive $150,000 in prize money while the first place winner for women will collect $165,000. That’s $15,000 more for the women. In most championships in other sports, it’s usually the opposite.

Sameh Sawares, CEO of Orascom Development Company, owner of El-Gouna resort, announced that four new squash courts were built for the twin championships and that the organising committee will put all its facilities at the disposal of the two events to help them succeed.

Assem Khalifa, Egyptian Squash Federation president, said the federation is supporting the events with all what was needed.

“I am sure our Egyptian champions will be able to win first place in both the women’s and men’s events. Egypt’s Mohamed Al-Shorbagi defeated French world champion Gregory Gaultier 3-2 in the final of the 2016 El-Gouna International to claim a sixth consecutive PSA World Series title and avenge his runner-up finish in the tournament in 2014 and 2015. I am sure that our Pharaohs will be finalists.”

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