Egypt win record sixth world junior title
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad International Correspondent
Hot favourites Egypt today beat England 2-0 in the final of the WSF Men’s World Junior Team Squash Championship in India to win the biennial World Squash Federation title for a sixth time since 1994. Their triumph meant Egypt surpassed a five-title record set 26 years ago by Australia.
The Egyptian team, featuring both finalists in last week’s World Junior Individual Championship, cruised through the six-day event in Chennai without dropping a single game. It was Egypt’s eighth final appearance in a row, since 2004 and third seeds England’s first time in the tournament showdown since 2002, which was also in Chennai.
The team’s top strings were first on the all-glass showcourt at the Express Avenue Mall in Chennai. Marwan Tarek, the 18-year-old 2017 individual champion from Cairo, who lost out to team-mate Mostafa Asal in last week’s final, faced Englishman Nick Wall, also 18, from Sheffield.
Wall forced a tie-break in the opening game but Tarek took the opener, then comfortably the next two to claim the 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 win in 45 minutes which put Egypt in the driving seat.
In the second match between the third strings, Sam Todd – also from Yorkshire, but aged just 15 – threatened to give England a lifeline as he matched Egyptian Omar El Torkey all the way in the opening game, earning game balls at 10-9 and 11-10.
Egypt’s bronze medallist held his nerve, however, to take the lead – and never looked back as he took the next two games comfortably give Egypt the title 13-11, 11-4, 11-4 after a further 32 minutes.
“We’re so proud and happy,” said the Egyptian coaching team. “The boys have worked so hard for this and they’ve got their reward, bringing Egypt another treble, just like the girls last year. This generation has taken over from those recent generations that have done the country so proud, and they have the talent and the desire to dominate the senior ranks in the coming years.
“Thanks to the organisers, the Indian squash federation and all the workers and volunteers that made this a great event and one that everyone will remember and can be proud of.”
England coach Lee Drew was full of praise for his young squad, saying: “Congratulations to Egypt on becoming World Champions. Very proud of the England squad and their effort finishing as silver medalists. Thoroughly deserved.”
Czech Republic and USA shared the bronze medal, USA repeating their finish in 2017 but the sixth-seeded Czechs checking out with their highest-ever finish.
Despite the absence of their top string Julien Gosset following his quarter-final injury, second seeds Canada beat Malaysia in the fifth place play-off to record their highest finish since 2010.
Hong Kong China beat defending champions Pakistan 2/0 in the play-off for seventh place to better their finish two years ago.
Their 2/1 win over New Zealand in the play-off for ninth place sees 12th seeds Switzerland not only exceed their seeding, but also record their best finish for 18 years.
After losing out to fierce Asian rivals Pakistan in the pre-quarter-finals, hosts India finished their 2018 campaign on a modest high after beating Argentina in the 11th place play-off.
Finally, event debutants Saudi Arabia – a young four-man squad featuring two 17-year-olds, one 15-year-old and a 14-year-old who have represented their country’s first ever appearance in a world squash championship – went down to Zimbabwe in their final tie to finish in 24th place.
Tragedy struck the championship on the final day when South African team manager/coach Graham Prior, the WSF African Coaching Coordinator, collapsed as he was boarding a bus after his team’s tie. It seems he suffered a severe heart attack and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
“The sense of shock, coupled with a complete numbness, is all that one can feel when something like this occurs,” said WSF CEO Andrew Shelley on hearing the news.
“Graham was such an esteemed and popular leader among coaches, a mentor to so many. While that is how the world of squash know him, it is his family and friends, robbed of Graham so early, that our hearts go out to at this terrible time. He and they will be in everybody’s thoughts, I know.”
WSF Men’s World Junior Team Championship, Chennai, India.
 EGYPT bt  ENGLAND 2/0
Marwan Tarek bt Nick Wall 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 (45m)
Omar El Torkey bt Sam Todd 13-11, 11-4, 11-4 (32m)
Mostafa Asal v James Wyatt (not played)
Bronze medallists:  CZECH REPUBLIC &  USA
5th place play-off:
 CANADA bt  MALAYSIA 2/1
James Flynn bt Darren Rahul Pragasam 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (34m)
Ryan Picken lost to Shahrul Izham Nurhaqiem 8-11, 3-11, 6-11 (25m)
George Crowne bt Siow Yee Xian 7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (44m)
7th place play-off:
 HONG KONG CHINA bt  PAKISTAN 2/0
Chung Yat Long bt Muhammad Uzair 11-8, 11-3, 12-10 (34m)
To Wai Lok bt Muhammad Farhan Hashmi 11-4, 11-8, 11-6 (24m)
9th place play-off:
 SWITZERLAND bt  NEW ZEALAND 2/1
Yannick Wilhelmi bt Gabe Yam 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-1 (41m)
Campbell Wells lost to Anthony Lepper 11-13, 6-11, 7-11 (34m)
Nils Roesch bt Temwa Chileshe 14-12, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7 (46m)
11th place play-off:
 INDIA bt  ARGENTINA 2/1
Veer Chotrani lost to Miguel Gonzalo Pujol 6-11, 9-11, 9-11 (32m)
Rahul Baitha bt Dylan Tymkiw 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (22m)
Utkarsh Baheti bt Jeremías Azaña 18-16, 11-6, 11-7 (32m)
13th place play-off:
 COLOMBIA bt  AUSTRALIA 2/0
Matias Knudsen bt Nicholas Calvert 11-4, 11-4, 11-9 (30m)
Nicolas Serna bt Jack Hudson 11-8, 11-7, 4-11, 10-12, 11-9 (58m)
15th place play-off:
 IRELAND bt  GERMANY 2/0
Conor Moran bt Abdel-Rahman Ghait 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4 (30m)
Scott Gillanders bt Maximillian Baum 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (35m)
17th place play-off:
 SCOTLAND bt  FRANCE 2/1
Alasdair Prott bt Edwin Clain 11-9, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8 (46m)
Fraser McCann lost to Adrien Douillard 11-9, 7-11, 5-11, 6-11 (45m)
Christopher Murphy bt Toufik Mekhalfi 5-11, 11-3, 11-8, 13-15, 11-5 (80m)
19th place play-off:
 SOUTH AFRICA bt  SINGAPORE 2/1
Murray Schepers lost to Aaron Liang 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 8-11 (52m)
Jacques Duminy bt Kieren Tan 11-9, 11-3, 11-2 (26m)
Tristen Worth bt Matthew Wong Yu Heng 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4 (32m)
21st place play-off:
 FINLAND bt  QATAR 2/1
Samuli Niskala lost to Hamad Al-Amri 11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 7-11 (36m)
Ville Koskinen bt Ahmad Al-Muraikhi 11-0, 11-2, 11-9 (18m)
Atte Stengård bt Ibrahim Darwish 11-6, 3-11, 11-8, 11-7 (47m)
23rd place play-off:
 ZIMBABWE bt  SAUDI ARABIA 2/0
Tayne Turnock bt Mohammad Almwled 11-8, 11-3, 11-6 (30m)
Harry Lawton bt Abdulelah Boureggah 11-1, 11-3, 11-0 (15m)
Pictures courtesy of #wsfworldjuniors