Saturday,16 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1355, (3-9 August 2017)
Saturday,16 December, 2017
Issue 1355, (3-9 August 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Teen queens

Egypt has completed the clean sweep, adding the women’s team title to the men’s and women’s trophies at the World Junior Squash Championship held in Tauranga, New Zealand, reports Inas Mazhar

World Junior Squash Championship
World Junior Squash Championship

With the top four seeded women in the tournament, Egypt was always going to be hard to beat and so it proved with a 2-0 win against Malaysia to add a sixth consecutive title to their burgeoning trophy cabinet.

Women’s champion Rowan Al-Arabi sealed the victory and celebrated her 17th birthday with a 3-1 win against Andrea Lee. It looked like an easy win as Al-Arabi stormed through the first two games, but Lee fought back well, taking the third and leading for most of the fourth.

The win came after Hania Al-Hammami, who Al-Arabi had beaten six days earlier in the women’s final, defeated Sivasangari Subramaniam 3-1 in a match of such quality it defied their teenage years.

“I’m just so happy to be able to do this with my team,” Al- Arabi said. She was especially pleased Al-Hammami could now call herself a champion. “I love her, she is my friend and it’s amazing for her, and for me to be able to share this happiness with her.”

Egypt Coach Omar Abdel-Aziz said it had been hard to motivate the players after the individuals tournament because with the four top seeds, they had all hoped to win. “I had to get them back up psychologically. It was step by step, match by match to get here. We didn’t talk about the trophy, just the matches.”

Egypt has, for a long time now, been a powerhouse in squash and Abdel-Aziz admitted the bar was high in terms of selections. “And the production line is always there,” Abdel-Aziz said.

Malaysia Coach Andrew Cross felt his players were sluggish early in their matches but had only praise for Egypt and their domination of world squash. “My girls have done well. We wanted to be in the final so they have done that and I’m proud of how they competed with Egypt, but both Rowan and Hania played better today than they did in the individual final.”

Earlier at the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre, New Zealand improved on their eighth seeding, finishing seventh with a comprehensive 2-0 win against Germany, Kaitlyn Watts beating Saskia Beinhard 3-1 before Anna Hughes dispatched Kacenka Tycova 3-0.

Before that match the US beat India 2-1 to finish fifth. The losing semi-finalists, Hong Kong China and England did not play off for third, instead sharing the bronze medal.

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