Thursday, November 30, 2023

Egypt’s fab five girls reach last eight

Egypt's quarter-final quintet
Egypt’s quarter-final quintet in Eindhoven

England have two survivors as Pakistan trio reach boys’ last eight
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent


For a remarkable fifth successive year, five Egyptians will line up in the women’s quarter-finals of the WSF World Junior Individual Squash Championships after Habiba Mohamed, Nouran Gohar, Mariam Metwally, Hania El Hammamy and Salma Hany Ibrahim (as pictured above) came through contrasting fourth round clashes in the World Squash Federation championships at the Squashtime Centre in Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, Pakistan achieved their best representation in the men’s event since 2006 with three players reaching quarter-finals berths after second seed Tayyab Aslam and Israr Ahmed claimed their anticipated places, joined by unseeded compatriot Asim Khan.

The 18-year-old Mariam Metwally is making her final appearance in the women’s championship – but marked her fifth successive appearance in the quarter-finals after surviving the longest match of the championship to date.

A 3/4 seed, the world No.37 from Alexandria overcame USA’s Reeham Sedky, the reigning US Junior Open champion, 11-13, 18-16, 11-8, 11-7 in 81 minutes – saving two game-balls in a marathon second game to avoid going two games down.

“I started the match feeling really calm and focused, but halfway through the first I started putting so much pressure on myself, I was so nervous and couldn’t do anything,” Metwally said. “She was attacking everything and me, all my drop shots were strokes or tins!

“I was aware of all the Americans in the crowd and it was getting really tough. I told myself I couldn’t afford to lose the second game – if I had I would have been going home – but thankfully I just managed to take it and it worked out from there.

“Hopefully I’ll be more composed and play my game consistently tomorrow.” Metwally meets England’s Georgina Kennedy (from Kent), who overcame Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam in straight games.

Habiba Mohamed, 16, the defending champion and top seed with a record four titles in her sights, saw off a spirited challenge from Colombian Laura Tovar, but second seed Nouran Gohar dropped her first game of the tournament as she beat New Zealand’s Eleanor Epke.

Salma Hany Ibrahim was taken the full distance and had to fight back in the decider to get past compatriot Mayar Hany 4-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-6, 11-8 in 65 minutes.

“That was so tough, she was playing so well,” admitted the 3/4 seed from Alexandria. “I was 2/1 down and 4-0 down – I’m just so relieved I was able to pull myself together in the fifth to get through.”

Choi Uen Shan became the lowest-seeded player to make the last eight – and the first Hong Kong player to reach the quarter-finals since 2007 – when she stopped US giant-killer Kayley Leonard 12-10, 5-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9 in 45 minutes. Unseeded Leonard had upset top Belgian junior Tinne Gilis, a 5/8 seed, in the second round.

Diego Elias of Peru powers into the last eight
Diego Elias of Peru powers into the last eight

Favourite Diego Elias cruised into the men’s quarter-finals after despatching unheralded US opponent Timothy Brownell (both pictured above) 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 in 27 minutes. The Peruvian star, aiming for a second title in a row, will now take on Pakistani Israr Ahmed.

Lahore-based Asim Khan became the only unseeded player to make the last eight after ending the run of Englishman Charlie Lee, the 17-year-old who caused the event’s earliest upset by ousting 3/4 seed Amr Arafa.

Khan’s ‘s 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 victory over Lee sees the 18-year-old world No.171 face rising Malaysian star Eain Yow Ng. The 5/8 seed from Kuala Lumpur needed all five games to get past Jordan’s Mohammad Alsarraj, a 9/16 seed, 11-6, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 11-6 in 61 minutes.

“I’m so relieved to win that,” said world No.160 Ng. “It was much harder than I wanted when I was leading 2/0 and 10-8! I lost a bit of focus. He came back well, he had a five-setter this morning and not much rest, he did everything he could.

“In last year’s worlds I was leading 2/0 and lost in five so that was in my mind, I didn’t want that to happen again so I’m glad I managed to take that fifth.”

18-year-old Tayyab Aslam, the only player marking a fourth successive appearance in the men’s event, reached the last eight for the second year in a row after beating Ryunosuke Tsukue, the unseeded 17-year-old from Yokohama who had become the first Japanese player ever to make the men’s last 16 round.

The 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 victory leads Aslam (pictured above with Tsukue) to face Egypt’s Saadeldin Abouaish for a place in the semi-finals. The 5/8 seed beat Finland’s Miko Äijänen 11-7, 11-6, 12-10.

England’s sole survivor is Patrick Rooney, who beat Australia’s Sam Ejtemai and now faces Egypt’s Youssef Soliman.

New Zealand news: New Zealand’s Ellie Epke has gone down fighting at the World Junior Squash Championships in Eindhoven.

Epke, the last of the Kiwi players remaining in the main draw after making it through to the last 16, gave Egyptian second seed Nouran Gohar a run for her money before going down in four.

The New Zealand number one dropped the first two games against Gohar, but bounced back to grab the third 12-10, before eventually succumbing 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6.

Earlier team-mate Abbie Palmer bowed out in the fourth round, going down 11-2, 11-5, 12-10 to Hong Kong’s Choi Uen Shan, while Kaitlyn Watts found the going too tough against Egyptian top seed Habiba Mohamed, beaten 11-2, 11-4, 11-2.

Meanwhile, Luke Jones also bowed out of the reckoning in the fourth round of the junior boys draw, losing 14-12 11-7, 11-2 to Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim Abdallah.
WSF World Junior Squash Championships, Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Men’s 3rd round:
[1] Diego Elias (PER) bt Adrien Grondin (FRA) 11-6, 11-2, 11-2 (21m)
Timothy Brownell (USA) bt [9/16] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 10-12, 11-5, 11-3, 8-11, 11-9 (72m)
[9/16] Youssef Ibrahim Abdallah (EGY) bt Luke Jones (NZL) 14-12, 11-7, 11-2 (23m)
[5/8] Israr Ahmed (PAK) bt Kyle Finch (ENG) 12-10, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9 (54m)
[5/8] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Tobias Weggen (GER) 11-2, 11-4, 11-7 (23m)
[9/16] Mohammad Alsarraj (JOR) bt Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) 5-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-13, 11-5 (63m)
Asim Khan (PAK) bt Gabriel Morgan (USA) 11-3, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3 (51m)
Charlie Lee (ENG) bt Ali Ahmad Aber (KUW) 11-4, 11-2, 11-1 (14m)
[3/4] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Yannik Omlor (GER) 11-3, 11-7, 11-4 (30m)
Balázs Farkas (HUN) bt [9/16] Benjamin Aubert (FRA) 11-1, 8-11, 11-1, 11-7 (45m)
Sam Ejtemai (AUS) bt [9/16] Adham Madi (EGY) 11-6, 13-11, 6-11, 13-11
[5/8] Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Enzo Corigliano (FRA) 11-6, 16-14 ret. (28m)
[5/8] Saadeldin Abouaish (EGY) bt Dominik Dubsky (CZE) 11-2, 11-5, 11-9 (25m)
Miko Äijänen (FIN) bt [9/16] James Peach (ENG) 11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 14-12 (52m)
Ryunosuke Tsukue (JPN) bt Victor Crouin (FRA) 11-9, 11-1, 11-2 (31m)
[2] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) bt Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) 10-12, 11-3, 11-6, 11-7 (43m)
4th round:
[1] Diego Elias (PER) bt Timothy Brownell (USA) 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 (27m)
[5/8] Israr Ahmed (PAK) bt [9/16] Youssef Ibrahim Abdallah (EGY) 1-11, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4 (73m)
[5/8] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt [9/16] Mohammad Alsarraj (JOR) 11-6, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 11-6 (61m)
Asim Khan (PAK) bt Charlie Lee (ENG) 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 (38m)
[3/4] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Balázs Farkas (HUN) 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (37m)
[5/8] Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Sam Ejtemai (AUS) 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (51m)
[5/8] Saadeldin Abouaish (EGY) bt Miko Äijänen (FIN) 11-7, 11-6, 12-10 (34m)
[2] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) bt Ryunosuke Tsukue (JPN) 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 (27m)

Women’s 3rd round:
[1] Habiba Mohamed (EGY) bt Kaitlyn Watts (NZL) 11-2, 11-4, 11-2 (18m)
Laura Tovar (COL) bt Lui Hiu Lam Bubble (HKG) 8-11, 2-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (39m)
[9/16] Lucy Beecroft (ENG) bt Casey Wong (USA) 11-8, 11-3, 10-12, 11-3 (32m)
[5/8] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Riina Koskinen (FIN) 11-0, 11-4, 11-1 (15m)
[5/8] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Zoe Foo Yuk Han (MAS) 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 5-11, 11-3 (45m)
[9/16] Amelia Henley (ENG) bt Andrea Lee (MAS) 11-7, 8-11, 14-12, 17-15 (60m)
[9/16] Mayar Hany (EGY) bt Cindy Merlo (SUI) 11-8, 11-8, 11-3 (42m)
[3/4] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt Ho Ka Wing (HKG) 11-2, 11-3, 12-10 (20m)
[3/4] Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt Mariska Wiese (RSA) 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 (15m)
[9/16] Reeham Sedky (USA) bt Harshit Jawanda (IND) 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 (24m)
Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt [9/16] Lakeesha Rarere (AUS) 14-12, 10-12, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9 (56m)
[5/8] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Nazihah Hanis (MAS) 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 (22m)
Kayley Leonard (USA) bt Sophie Mehta (CAN) 5-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 (27m)
[9/16] Choi Uen Shan (HKG) bt Abbie Palmer (NZL) 11-2, 11-5, 12-10 (16m)
[9/16] Eleanor Epke (NZL) bt Satomi Watanabe (JPN) 11-5, 14-12, 16-14 (34m)
[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Laura Gamblin (FRA) 11-2, 11-1, 11-8 (19m)
4th round:
[1] Habiba Mohamed (EGY) bt Laura Tovar (COL) 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (26m)
[5/8] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [9/16] Lucy Beecroft (ENG) 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (28m)
[5/8] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt [9/16] Amelia Henley (ENG) 11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 11-2 (30m)
[3/4] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt [9/16] Mayar Hany (EGY) 4-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-6, 11-8 (65m)
[3/4] Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt [9/16] Reeham Sedky (USA) 11-13, 18-16, 11-8, 11-7 (81m)
[5/8] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 11-7, 11-9, 11-7 (22m)
[9/16] Choi Uen Shan (HKG) bt Kayley Leonard (USA) 12-10, 5-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9 (45m)
[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [9/16] Eleanor Epke (NZL) 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6 (35m) 

Men’s quarter-final line-up:
[1] Diego Elias (PER) v [5/8] Israr Ahmed (PAK)
[5/8] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v Asim Khan (PAK)
[3/4] Youssef Soliman (EGY) v [5/8] Patrick Rooney (ENG)
[2] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) v [5/8] Saadeldin Abouaish (EGY)

Women’s quarter-final line-up:
[1] Habiba Mohamed (EGY) v [5/8] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
[3/4] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) v [5/8] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
[3/4] Mariam Metwally (EGY) v [5/8] Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [9/16] Choi Uen Shan (HKG)

Event website:

Pictures by SquashSite


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