Egypt still the Champions


After 11 days of non-stop squash the last day of the Doha WSF World Junior Squash Championships at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Qatar saw 22 teams in action, battling it out for their final positions.

The climax of the event was the fifth successive final between Egypt and Pakistan, with those honours shared at two apiece.

Egypt still the Champions

First up was Egypt’s Mazen Hesham, an individual quarter-finalist, against the younger of the two Bukhari brothers on the Pakistani team. Bukhari made a great start, taking an early lead and winning the first game, but once Hesham found his range he became increasingly dominant as he took the next three games to give Egypt the lead  7/11, 11/8, 11/5, 11/6.

The second match was the number ones, a repeat of the individual quarter-final between Marwan El Shorbagy and Nasir Iqbal.

Again the Pakistani made a good start, but Shorbagy patiently pegged back the early lead, then closed out the game from 9-all. As in the first match, the tide flowed the Egyptian way thereafter, Shorbagy seemingly having the answer for everything Iqbal tried as he won 11/9, 11/7, 11/6.

The match was won on a ‘no let’ decision, and the expectant Egyptian rose as one and invaded the court they had owned for these two weeks. Still the champions, individual and team.

“This is our second title in a row, both the players today played really well, Mazen played a solid match, and Marwan played a perfect match,” said a delighted Egyptian National Coach Amir Wagih.

“Those two tournament titles, both individuals and team event, are very important for Egypt. The two weeks have been long, the team has done a fantastic job, well done to them.

“We promised we would come back to our country with the cups, and that’s what we are doing. I’m so proud of my team…”

Marwan thus finishes his junior career on a high – as does number two Mohamed Abouelghar, who wasn’t required to play his last-ever junior match – and was naturally was delighted:

“I’m so happy Egypt has won the title again, and as for myself, winning this title again, with a different team, is such an honour. We’ve been working hard to be able to have such a result, and it’s a small gift we are making for our country.

“Today, I played my best squash at last, I must have relaxed a bit, and when you are representing and playing for your country, it’s a completely different thing. I’m so happy we get to keep this title in Egypt, and so proud I was able to win two individual titles too.

“We would like to thank our Federation, for the support they are giving us, and our National Coach, Amr Wagih, and of course the Qatari Federation, for organising this superb event, for the welcome they offered us, and for the hard work Qatar Team has produced these two weeks.

“Thank you, Qatar.”

The opening match on the glass court saw India claim their highest-ever finish as they beat England 2-0, getting the better of two close matches, to the delight of their team and support staff. Indian coach Cyrus Poncha was naturally delighted:

“We’ve done today what no other Indian Men’s team ever done before. And this is also the first time ever a men’s team beat England. It was an outstanding performance,” he added. “We have had great teams in the past – notably our 2004 and 2008 teams but this team has eclipsed them all, it is truly a proud moment for Indian squash.”

Elsewhere in the playoffs Japan lost out to Asian neighbours Hong Kong in the 5th/6th match but will go home on the back of a massive best-ever performance, Canada will be celebrating a nailbiting win over neighbours USA for 7th place, Brazil will be happy with an unexpected best-ever 12th place, and Iraq and hosts Qatar can reflect well on maiden appearances that saw them finish strongly.

Full coverage on the official site: www.wsfworldjuniors.com

Final: [1] Egypt 2-0 [2] Pakistan
Mazen Hesham 3-1 Syed Mujtaba Bukhari 7/11, 11/8, 11/5, 11/6 (42m)
Marwan El Shorbagy 3-0 Nasir Iqbal 11/9, 11/7, 11/6 (38m)
Mohamed Abouelghar v Syed Hamzah Bukhari

3rd/4th: [4] India 2-0 England
Kush Kumar 3-0 Richie Fallows 11/8, 11/8, 9/11, 13/11 (46m)
Mahesh Mangaonkar 3-1 Ollie Holland 6/11, 11/0, 11/6, 11/7 (54m)

5th/6th: Hong Kong 2-0 Japan
Ho Tze Ho 3-1 Tomotaka Endo 6/11, 11/6, 11/9, 11/3 (42m)
Cheuk Yan Tang 3-1 Ryosei Kobayashi 7/11, 11/9, 15/13, 11/6 (50m)

7th/8th: Canada 2-1 USA
Zac Leman 2-3 Devin McLaughlin 5/11, 3/11, 11/6, 11/6, 8/11 (54m)
Cameron Seth 3-2 Dylan Murray 11/8, 12/14, 7/11, 11/3, 11/5 (66m)
Tyler Olsen 3-0 Edward Columbia 12/10, 11/3, 11/7 (37m)

9th/10th: New Zealand 2-1 Kuwait
Todd Redman 3-0 Athbi Hamad 11/7, 11/5, 12/10 (26m)
Jonathan Barnett 0-3 Yousef Saleh 8/11, 9/11, 10/12 (39m)
Zac Millar 3-2 Yousef Ali 9/11, 11/3, 8/11, 11/4, 11/3 (40m)

11th/12th: Germany 2-1 Brazil
Niklas Becher 3-0 Cassiano Silva 11/4, 11/7, 11/7
Felix Auer 1-3 Josemar Silva 7/11, 4/11, 11/5, 6/11
Andre Ergenz 3-0 Pedro Veiga 11/4, 11/9, 11/6

13th/14th: Colombia 2-0 France
Nicolas Valderrama 3-2 Auguste Dussourd 8/11, 12/10, 8/11, 11/3, 11/4
Juan Camilo Vargas 3-2 Alexandre Cogno 0/11, 11/5, 11/5, 11/13, 11/6

15th/16th: South Africa 2-1 Argentina
Simpiwe Gquibane 0-3 Gonzalo Gallardo 8/11, 6/11, 11/13 (37m)
Ruan Olivier 3-2 Federice Cioffi 12/14, 11/6, 11/7, 6/11, 11/9 (56m)
Luke Willemse 3-1 Rodrigo Obregon 11/9, 11/6, 11/13, 16/14 (50m)

17th/18th: Australia 2-1 Belgium
Tom Calvert 3-0 Vincent Hitchens 11/8, 18/16, 12/10 (45m)
Rhys Dowling 1/3 Jan vd Herrewegen 6/11, 7/11, 11/7, 9/11 (43m)
TJ Rarere 3-0 Jordy Camps 11/3, 11/7, 11/5 (22m)

19th/20th: Qatar 2-1 Zimbabwe
Abdulwahab Al-Ishaq 0-3 David Fisher 6/11, 4/11, 8/11
Abdulla Al Tamimi 3-0 Faisal Hassan 11/8, 11/6, 11/4
Faisal Al-Marri 3-1 Blessing Muhwati 11/6, 4/11, 11/4, 11/9

21st/22nd: Iraq 2-0 Switzerland
Hasanaid Dakheel 3-2 Remo Handl 9/11, 8/11, 11/8, 11/1, 11/6
Mohammed Hasan 3-0 Robin Gadola 11/7, 11/7, 14/12

23rd Guatemala

Full coverage on the official site: www.wsfworldjuniors.com

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