Thursday, June 13, 2024

BJO: Egyptian girls guarantee Under 19 champion while Parker wins ‘Battle of the Brits’

Home hopes ended as top four seeds ensure Girls’ Under 19 title will be heading back to Egypt again
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter

Egypt will be guaranteed a fourth successive Girls’ Under 19 title at the British Junior Open, after their top four seeds produced another set of dominating displays to set-up all-Egyptian semi-final clashes in Sheffield.

Mariam Metwally, Salma Hany and Nouran Gohar advanced at the expense of the English trio led by Nada Elkalaawy, while two-time British Junior Open champion Yathreb Adel ended Nele Giles challenge to complete a clean sweep for her homeland.

Victory for the Egyptian quartet overshadowed 5/8 seed Mohamed Elgawarhy defeat to Peruvian Diego Elias in the Boys’ Under 19 quarter-final and also ended English hopes of celebrating a home champion for a second consecutive year.

World number 57 Mariam (pictured right) kick-started proceedings for the Egyptians and despite dropping the opening game to 9/16 seed Lily Taylor, she romped to a 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-1 success over the Leicester-based 17-year-old.

The top seed, who won the Swiss Open last year, will now meet Salma for a place in Monday’s final, after the world number 40 blunted Nada’s dream of ending her junior career on a high with a 11-8, 11-7, 11-2 victory in 26 minutes.

In the bottom half of the draw, 16-year-old Nouran defeated the last remaining Englishwoman Anna Kimberley 3-0 to stay on course for a second successive title after winning the Prague Open in December.

However, the 3/4 seed will have to overcome Yathreb in the semi-finals, after the world number 31 continued her imperious run in the event with a comprehensive 11-6, 11-1, 11-8 win over Nele. 

The 17-year-old second seed has yet to drop a game all week and will retain a psychological advantage over Nouran heading into their last four encounter, after inflicting a semi-final defeat at the Hampton Squash Week in August.

Meanwhile in the Boys’ category, George Parker (pictured left) stunned 3/4 seed Richie Fallows in four tight games to win a gripping all-England clash at the Abbeydale Sports Club.

Richie, who had beaten three British players en route to the quarter-finals, was the overwhelming favourite heading into the match but his unseeded compatriot showed few signs of nerves as he raced into a 1-0 lead.

But while Richie responded and appeared to gain a foothold in the second game, George won a crucial tie-break to move one game away from the last four.

And although Richie threatened a comeback after winning a one-sided third game, George repeated his second game heroics to win the fourth game tie-break and secure the bragging rights 11-6, 12-10, 4-11, 12-10.

George will now meet world number 95 Ahmad Al-Saraj, after the Jordan teenager progressed past Indian Kush Kumar 3-1.

Kush had knocked out number two seed Shehab Essam just 24 hours earlier but failed to reach the same heights against Ahmed as he fell to a 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 defeat in 42 minutes.

Earlier in the afternoon, top seed Karim El Hammamy (pictured right) secured his place in the last four with a hard-fought victory over the highly-fancied Israeli Daniel Poleshchuk.

Despite losing the opening game 13-11, Karim fought back valiantly before eventually prevailing 11-13, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 in 34 minutes.

The 18-year-old Egyptian will now meet the aforementioned Diego, who halved the Egyptian representation with a resounding 13-11, 11-6, 11-4 win. 

The 17-year-old from Lima will now be looking to make it a hat-trick of victories against Egyptian opposition on Sunday, while Karim will now shoulder the responsibility of extending Egypt’s eight year title-winning run in the Boys’ Under 19 category. 

Quarter-Final – Boys’ Results

[1] Karim El Hammamy (Egy) 3-1 [5/8] Daniel Poleshchuk (Isr) 11-13, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (34m)
[3/4] Diego Elias (Per) 3-0 [5/8] Mohamed Elgawarhy (Egy) 13-11, 11-6, 11-4 (44m)
George Parker (Eng) 3-1 [3/4] Richie Fallows (Eng) 11-6, 12-10, 4-11, 12-10 (81m)
[5/8] Ahmad Al-Saraj (Jor) 3-1 [9/16] Kush Kumar (Ind) 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 (56m)

Quarter-Final – Girls’ Results

[1] Mariam Ibrahim Metwally (Egy) 3-1 [9/16] Lily Taylor (Eng) 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-1 (29m)
[3/4] Salma Hany Ibrahim (Egy) 3-0 [5/8] Nada Elkalaawy (Eng) 11-8, 11-7, 11-2 (26m)
[3/4] Nouran Ahmed Gohar (Egy) 3-0 [5/8] Anna Kimberley (Eng) 11-1, 11-5, 11-9 (29m)
[2] Yathreb Adel (Egy) 3-0 [5/8] Nele Gilis (Bel) 11-6, 11-1, 11-8 (22m)

Pictures by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

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