Clean sweep in New Zealand
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad International Correspondent
Completing a clean sweep of all three world titles contested in New Zealand, top seeds Egypt claimed the WSF Women’s World Junior Team Squash Championship title for the sixth time in a row after beating second seeds Malaysia in today’s final at the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre in Tauranga.
Just days after winning both the men’s and women’s individual trophies, hot favourites Egypt went into the final with a squad featuring the top four ranked players in the championship.
But Malaysia made the favourites work for their success. Top string Hania El Hammamy (pictured above) put Egypt into the lead – but needed 44 minutes to see off Malaysian Sivasangari Subramaniam 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9.
Women’s champion Rowan Reda Araby celebrated her 17th birthday in the perfect way by sealing victory with a with an 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7 win over Andrea Lee.
“I’m just so happy to be able to do this with my team,” Araby said. She was especially pleased El Hammamy – whom she beat in the individual final – 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.”
For some time now, Egypt has been seen as the powerhouse of junior squash and Aziz admitted the bar was high in terms of selections. “And the production line is always there,” 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, hosts 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 despatched Kacenka Tycova 3/0.
USA beat India 2/1 to finish fifth – while losing semi-finalists Hong Kong China and England both shared the bronze medal.
Speaking at the medal presentations, World Squash Federation CEO Andrew Shelley said: “More than one team manager told me that this is the best World Junior Championship that they have ever attended. New Zealand has set a very high bar for next hosts India, but they are up to the task and I am sure that they will clear it rather than limbo under it!
“For now the squads leave Tauranga having had a great welcome, hospitality and efficiency, while the hosts should wave them off having done a fantastic job.”
WSF World Junior Team Squash Championship, Tauranga, New Zealand.
 EGYPT bt  MALAYSIA 2/0
Hania El Hammamy bt Sivasangari Subramaniam 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9 (44m)
Rowan Reda Araby bt Andrea Lee 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7 (37m)
 ENGLAND &  HONG KONG CHINA
5th place play-off:
 USA bt  INDIA 2/1
Marina Stefanoni bt Akanksha Salunkhe 11-2, 11-9, 11-4 (17m)
Grace Doyle lost to Sunayna Kuruvilla 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 7-11 (34m)
Elle Ruggiero bt Aishwarya Bhattacharya 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 (20m)
7th place play-off:
 NEW ZEALAND bt  GERMANY 2/0
Kaitlyn Watts bt Saskia Beinhard 7-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-7 (37m)
Anna Hughes bt Kacenka Tycova 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (22m)
9th place play-off:
 CANADA bt  AUSTRALIA 3/0
Emma Jinks bt Lauren Aspinall 11-4, 3-11, 11-8, 11-2 (24m)
Andrea Toth bt Alexandra Haydon 11-5, 11-8, 11-8 (21m)
Nicole Kendall bt Shehana Vithana 11-9, 11-7 (14m)
11th place play-off:
 SOUTH AFRICA bt  REPUBLIC OF KOREA w/o
Pictures courtesy of WSF and SquashSite