Malaysian stops Egyptian clean sweep
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
Eain Yow Ng became the first Malaysian in seven years to reach the final of the VDC Dental-Care WSF World Junior Squash Championships – and denied an Egyptian clean sweep in the two World Squash Federation events in the process – after surviving the longest of the four semi-finals in the Polish city of Bielsko-Biała.
A beaten semi-finalist last year, Ng justified his No.2 seeding by beating Youssef Ibrahim Abdallah, a 3/4 seed from Egypt, 13-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8 in 63 minutes.
“That was a really tough match,” said the 18-year-old from Kuala Lumpur (pictured above celebrating his victory). “We both had patches where we played fantastic squash and I was just lucky enough to sneak the three games at the end. Youssef is a fantastic player, one to watch out for next year for sure.”
The men’s final will feature both of the losing semi-finalists in 2015 after top-seeded Egyptian Saadeldin Abouaish defeated Pakistan’s 3/4 seed Israr Ahmed 11-5, 5-11, 11-6, 11-1 in 44 minutes.
Abouaish, who was taken the full distance in his previous two matches, will be looking to end his reputation as the ‘nearly man’ after losing in the All Africa Junior Championship final and three British Junior Open finals.
“I’m delighted to end it in four this time,” said the 18-year-old from Cairo. “I kept my concentration right through. That’s one better than last year, and hopefully one more.”
The finalists have met four times in British Junior Opens since 2011 with the Malaysian boasting a 3/1 advantage. “They’ve grown up together,” said Malaysian coach Andrew Cross. “But now it’s the big one.”
Ng added: “We’ve had a big rivalry since the British U13s – but there’s no bigger stage than the World Junior Final … may the best player win!”
There was a major upset in the women’s event when second seed Hania El Hammamy was denied a place in the final after losing 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 in 46 minutes to fellow Egyptian Rowan Reda Araby.
“I can’t believe I’m in the final – and in my first World Juniors,” said delighted Alexandrian Araby (pictured above in World action).
“It was a really tough match,” added the 16-year-old underdog, who came into the match after four successive British Junior Open losses to El Hammamy since 2013. “I just thought about not letting what happened in the British happen again, and made sure I concentrated through to the end of the match.”
Araby will face firm favourite Nouran Gohar, the title-holder who is ranked five in the world. In her fourth successive straight games win in a row, the 18-year-old from Cairo brushed aside Malaysian Sivasangari Subramaniam 11-4, 11-6, 11-5.
“After that first rally I thought it was going to be a really long match,” said Gohar (pictured above), now in her third successive final. “She’s very talented and attacks from everywhere, it’s difficult to play against. I’m happy with how I played in the end and pleased to be through to the final again, fairly fresh.”
VDC Dental-Care WSF World Junior Squash Championships, Bielsko-Biała, Poland
 Saadeldin Abouaish (EGY) bt [3/4] Israr Ahmed (PAK) 11-5, 5-11, 11-6, 11-1 (44m)
 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt [3/4] Youssef Ibrahim Abdallah (EGY) 13-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8 (63m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [3/4] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (30m)
[3/4] Rowan Reda Araby (EGY) bt  Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 (46m)
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of WSF