Friday, February 23, 2024

WSF Women’s World Junior Teams: Egypt beat USA in final

RESULTS: WSF Women’s World Junior Team Squash Championship, Boston, USA

Egypt Retain World Junior Title

Favourites Egypt successfully retained their title in the WSF Women’s World Junior Team Squash Championship inBoston – but hosts USA, celebrating their first appearance in the climax, forced the tie into a decider after former world individual champion Amanda Sobhy defeated the newly-crowned champion Nour El Tayeb on the final day of the World Squash Federation event at the Murr Center at Harvard University.

Defending champions Egypt made a great start to the final as Nouran El Torky beat a nervous Sabrina Sobhy 11-9, 11-3, 11-3.

Then came the match that was expected to bring the earlier individual championship to a conclusion – between 2010 champion Amanda Sobhy and her predicted successor Nour El Tayeb. Sobhy, determined to make amends for her shock semi-final exit in the individual event, edged a tight first, pulling away from eight-all.

El Tayeb drew level – but New Yorker Sobhy ran away with the third to retake the lead.

Holding a slight lead throughout the fourth, Sobhy eventually clinched her third match-ball to win 11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9 to force the tie into a decider.

“Amanda played so well, she hit the ball very hard and made no mistakes,” El Tayeb told the official afterwards. “It was in my mind that in 2009 she’d beaten Nour (El Sherbini) in the team event and today she beat me.

“Even though I played my best, I tried my hardest. I had some nerves, it was a different kind of nerves from the individual event, but it didn’t help that she played so well!”

But less than half an hour later, Egypt made sure of the title when Nour El Sherbini, winner of the 2009 title and runner-up in the 2011 championship, beat Olivia Blatchford 11-8, 11-3, 11-8.

“When Nour lost I was quite nervous, I knew it was all on me now, but once I managed to take the first game I though everything’s alright now,” explained El Sherbini.

“Then I hurt my ankle and had to get it strapped,” added the 15-year-old. “Everyone was concerned but I told them I would be ok. Once I went back on court my ankle didn’t hurt, but I wanted to finish the game quickly and most of my shots came off,

“I was so happy to help the team win, but my ankle does hurt now!”

Egypt coach Amir Wagih added: “It was a great team victory and a very special one. They’ve been working hard in the camps all summer and this is a great reward for them.

“The team event is always tougher than the individual, all the other countries are determined and trying to push you, and all our players played right to the end of the individuals so there wasn’t much time for rest.

“I promised we would try to bring the trophy back home and they did it, I’m so proud of them.

“The boys did so well in Belgium, now the girls have won again. This is the 20th world title since I’ve been National Coach, and soon the men will go to Paderborn and we will try to retain that title.”

In the bronze medal play-off for third place, sixth seeds Hong Kong China beat India, the third seeds, 2/1 – and former champions England improved on their finish two years ago by beating fifth seeds Malaysia 2/0 in the play-off for fifth place.

And although New Zealand beat Wales 2/0 in the seventh place play-off, the eighth place finish was the best by Wales since their appearance in the inaugural championship in 1985.

In the battle for 15th place between championship debutants Guyana and Ecuador, it was Guyana that emerged triumphant 2/0.

Official website:

[1] EGYPT bt [2] USA 2/1
Nouran El Torky bt Sabrina Sobhy 11-9, 11-3, 11-3 (20m)
Nour El Tayeb lost to Amanda Sobhy 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 9-11 (44m)
Nour El Sherbini bt Olivia Blatchford 11-8, 11-3, 11-8 (29m)

3rd place play-off:
[6] HONG KONG CHINA bt [3] INDIA 2/1
Choi Uen Shan bt Aparajitha Balamurukan 11-9, 11-9, 12-14, 11-8 (36m)
Ka-Yi Lee lost to Anaka Alankamony 3-11, 6-11, 7-11 (20m)
Ho Tze-Lok bt Saumya Karki 4-11, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8 (46m)

5th place play-off:
[4] ENGLAND bt [5] MALAYSIA 2/0
Victoria Temple-Murray bt Vanessa Raj 11-3, 11-8, 7-11, 12-10 (33m)
Emily Whitlock bt Tan Yan Xin 11-8, 11-4, 12-10 (26m)
Katie SmithSue Ann Yong (dead rubber – match not played)

7th place play-off:
[9] NEW ZEALAND bt [10] WALES 2/0
Danielle Fourie bt Fiona Murphy 18-16, 11-8, 11-6 (29m)
Megan Craig bt Tesni Evans 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 9-5 ret. (39m)
Rebecca BarnettHannah Davies (dead rubber – match not played)

9th place play-off:
[8] CANADA bt [7] AUSTRALIA 2/1
Hollie Naughton bt Bethany Brazier 11-5, 11-9, 11-8 (22m)
Danielle Letourneau lost to Tamika Saxby 8-11, 10-12, 8-11 (25m)
Michelle Gemmell bt Selena Shaikh 11-5, 11-9, 11-4 (22m)

11th place play-off:
[11] FRANCE bt [12] GERMANY 2/0
Elvira Bedjai bt Laura Kutsch 13-15, 10-12, 17-15, 12-10, 12-10 (59m)
Julia Lecoq bt Caroline Sayegh 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4 (34m)
Marie StephanAnnika Wiese (dead rubber – match not played)

13th place play-off:
[13/16] SOUTH AFRICA bt [13/16] NETHERLANDS 2/0
Julie Lee bt Nikki van der Heijden 11-7, 11-9, 12-10 (27m)
Alexandra Fuller bt Ilona Lagerweij 11-7, 11-8, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8 (43m)
Elani LandmanTessa ter Sluis (dead rubber – match not played)

15th place play-off:
[13/16] GUYANA bt [13/16] ECUADOR 2/0
Kayla Jeffrey bt Mikaela Albuja Sanchez 11-5, 11-4, 8-6 ret. (24m)
Ashley Khalil bt Mireya Lucia Espinosa Proano 16-14, 11-5, 11-5 (24m)
Keisha JeffreyNicole Gordillo Bravo (dead rubber – match not played)


[1] EGYPT bt [6] HONG KONG CHINA 2/0
Nour El Tayeb bt Ho Ka Po 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 (19m)
Nour El Sherbini bt Ka-Yi Lee 11-5, 10-12, 12-10, 11-2 (30m)

[2] USA bt [3] INDIA 2/1
Amanda Sobhy bt Anaka Alankamony 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (21m)
Olivia Blatchford lost to Saumya Karki 7-11, 9-11, 9-11 (28m)
Haley Mendez bt Aparajitha Balamurukan 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9 (42m)

5th – 8th place play-offs:
[5] MALAYSIA bt [10] WALES 2/1
Tan Yan Xin lost to Tesni Evans 4-11, 11-3, 6-11, 10-12 (36m)
Vanessa Raj bt Hannah Davies 11-2, 11-7, 11-7 (19m)
Celine Yeap bt Fiona Murphy 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (24m)

[4] ENGLAND bt [9] NEW ZEALAND 2/1
Emily Whitlock bt Megan Craig 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8 (42m)
Sophie Lemom lost to Rebecca Barnett 3-11, 8-11, 5-11 (23m)
Victoria Temple-Murray bt Danielle Fourie 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5 (51m)

9th – 12th place play-offs:
[8] CANADA bt [11] FRANCE 2/1
Danielle Letourneau lost to Julia Lecoq 5-11, 12-10, 6-11, 7-11 (31m)
Michelle Gemmell bt Marie Stephan 8-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7 (42m)
Hollie Naughton bt Elvira Bedjai 11-2, 7-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6 (39m)

[7] AUSTRALIA bt [12] GERMANY 2/1
Tamika Saxby bt Caroline Sayegh 11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3 (29m)
Selena Shaikh lost to Annika Wiese 8-11, 3-11, 6-11 (19m)
Bethany Brazier bt Steffi Rosner 11-3, 11-6, 11-5 (16m)

13th – 16th place play-offs:
[13/16] NETHERLANDS bt [13/16] GUYANA 3/0
Ilona Lagerweij bt Ashley Khalil 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (19m)
Tessa ter Sluis bt Keisha Jeffrey 11-4, 12-10, 11-9 (26m)
Nikki van der Heijden bt Mary Fung-A-Fat 11-6, 7-11, 11-1 (21m)

[13/16] SOUTH AFRICA bt [13/16] ECUADOR 3/0
Alexandra Fuller bt Mireya Lucia Espinosa Proano 11-4, 11-3, 11-2 (16m)
Elani Landman bt Nicole Gordillo Bravo 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 (19m)
Lume Landman bt Maria Jose Guarderas 11-5, 11-1 (10m)

Hosts USA To Face Egypt In Dream World Final

Hosts USA survived a tense semi-final battle against India in the WSF Women’s World Junior Team Squash Championship in Boston to set up a dream final with defending champions Egypt in the World Squash Federationevent at the Murr Center at Harvard University.

Amanda Sobhy, the world No20 and second highest-ranked player in the event, put the hosts into the lead with an 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 victory over Indian top string Anaka Alankamony, the reigning Asian Junior Champion.

The tie was turned on its head when India’s second string Saumya Karki, a 16-year-old making her debut in the championship, played the game of her life to beat experienced Olivia Blatchford, a New Yorker ranked 37 in the world who has already represented her country at senior level, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 in 28 minutes.

The decider pitched US No4 Haley Mendez, a 17-year-old from New York, against India’s third string Aparajitha Balamurukan, also 17, from Chennai.

Mendez squeezed home in the first, but Balamurukan upped the pace in the second to draw level. It was nip and tuck in the third and fourth games – but it was Mendez who held her nerve to take the final three points of the fourth to score a dramatic 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9 victory which delighted the packed crowd.

“Haley is so fit, she just kept on going, kept on running and worked so hard to pull that victory out for us,” team spokesmanJack Wyant told after the USA celebrated its first appearance in the final.

“Amanda was solid again. She’s saving her best squash for the final – she was gutted by the result in the individuals and tomorrow’s an opportunity to show that she’s at the same level as the World Champion.

“Making the final was everything for us – it means we’ve medalled for sure, which is a first, certainly in my lifetime, and there’s still a title to play for. The pressure was all on us tonight, but tomorrow it’s on Egypt as the defending champions, we’ll just give it all we’ve got.”

By comparison, favourites Egypt strolled into the final – for the fifth time in a row – after beating sixth seeds Hong Kong China 2/0. Egypt’s two world individual championships finalists Nour El Tayeb and Nour El Sherbini produced convincing displays – world champion El Tayeb beating Ho Ka Po 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 and former champion El Sherbini overcoming Ka-Yi Lee 11-5, 10-12, 12-10, 11-2.

[1] EGYPT v [2] USA

3rd place play-off:

5th place play-off:

7th place play-off:

9th place play-off:

11th place play-off:
[11] FRANCE v [12] GERMANY

13th place play-off:

15th place play-off:
[13/16] GUYANA v [13/16] ECUADOR

Official website:

Hong Kong battle into semi-finals

RESULTS: WSF Women’s World Junior Team Squash Championship, Boston, USA

[1] EGYPT bt [10] WALES 3/0
Nour El Tayeb bt Tesni Evans 11-3, 11-3, 11-8 (24m)
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy bt Fiona Murphy 11-2, 11-4, 11-3 (17m)
Nouran El Torky bt Hannah Davies 8-11, 11-7, 11-6 (15m)

Ka-Yi Lee lost to Tan Yan Xin 5-11, 11-3, 6-11, 9-11 (33m)
Choi Uen Shan bt Vanessa Raj 11-8, 13-11, 11-9 (27m)
Ho Tze-Lok bt Sue Ann Yong 11-5, 11-3, 10-12, 11-4 (34m)

[3] INDIA bt [4] ENGLAND 2/0
Anaka Alankamony bt Emily Whitlock 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9 (39m)
Aparajitha Balamurukan bt Victoria Temple-Murray 7-11, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-4 (44m)

[2] USA bt [9] NEW ZEALAND 2/1
Amanda Sobhy bt Megan Craig 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 (20m)
Sabrina Sobhy lost to Danielle Fourie 11-6, 11-13, 7-11, 12-14 (36m)
Olivia Blatchford bt Rebecca Barnett 11-3, 11-7, 11-8 (22m)

9th – 16th place play-offs:
[8] CANADA bt [13/16] GUYANA 3/0
Michelle Gemmell bt Ashley Khalil 11-2, 11-7, 11-8 (16m)
Abbey Foster bt Kayla Jeffrey 11-8, 11-4, 11-3
Hollie Naughton bt Keisha Jeffrey 11-7, 11-7 (12m)

[11] FRANCE bt [13/16] NETHERLANDS 3/0
Julia Lecoq bt Ilona Lagerweij 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7 (33m)
Elvira Bedjai bt Nikki van der Heijden 6-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5, 11-4 (44m)
Marie Stephan bt Tessa ter Sluis 11-3, 11-3 (9m)

[12] GERMANY bt [13/16] ECUADOR 3/0
Caroline Sayegh bt Mireya Lucia Espinosa Proano 11-1, 11-5, 11-6 (19m)
Laura Kutsch bt Mikaela Albuja Sanchez 11-7, 11-2, 11-4 (14m)
Annika Wiese bt Nicole Gordillo Bravo 11-2, 11-3 (10m)

[7] AUSTRALIA bt [13/16] SOUTH AFRICA 2/0
Tamika Saxby bt Alexandra Fuller 11-4, 11-2, 11-8 (19m)
Bethany Brazier bt Lume Landman 6-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8 (42m)

Hong Kong Battle Into World Semis

Two years after claiming a surprise place in the final of the WSF Women’s World Junior Team Squash Championship, sixth seeds Hong Kong China again upset the seedings in the 2011 World Squash Federation event in Boston, USA, to earn a semi-final berth at the Murr Center at Harvard University.

In the all-Asian tie against Malaysia, it was the fourth seeds who took the opening honours as Tan Yan Xin beat Hong Kong’s Ka-Yi Lee in four games, before Choi Uen Shan levelled matters after beating Vanessa Raj.

In the dramatic decider, Hong Kong’s Ho Tze-Lok took a 2/0 and 9-4 lead – but Sue Ann Yong recovered to win the third after saving two match balls before the Hong Kong third string regained the upper hand in the fourth to win 11-5, 11-3, 10-12, 11-4.

“We had a team meeting last night and the two younger players, who had lost to their number two and three, really wanted to play to have a chance of revenge,” Hong Kong coach Dick Leung told the official website later. “We knew that it would be tough at number one, so we rested our number one to give the youngsters a chance and they played so well.

“I’m really proud of them – it’s amazing that such a young team (17, 14 and 15) should get to the semi-finals, and with the two youngsters winning the crunch matches it’s great for the future too.”

Hong Kong will now face firm favourites Egypt who, led by the new world individual champion Nour El Tayeb, cruised to a 3/0 win over tenth seeds Wales.

In a triumph described by national coach Cyrus Poncha as “very sweet”, India justified their status as third seeds by beating former champions England, the No4 seeds, 2/0.

India took the lead when Anaka Alankamony, the Asian Junior Champion, beat European Junior Champion Emily Whitlock. The Indian seemed to have the answer to everything Whitlock could throw at her, and essentially outplayed her for two and a half games to lead 6-2 in the third.

Whitlock then took control for the first time with a run of four points to level before winning the game to reduce the deficit. Alankamony built up a 9-4 lead in the fourth – and again Whitlock fought back. The Indian number one held her nerve, however, to close out the match 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9.

It looked as though Victoria Temple-Murray would pull one back for England when she established a two-game lead against Aparajitha Balamurukan – but the Indian number three fought back superbly, saving a solitary match-ball at 9-10 in the fourth before racing away with the fifth to delight the Indian bench and supporters with her 7-11, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-4 victory in 44 minutes.

“England has always been a powerhouse in squash, this victory is very sweet,” exclaimed Poncha. “Anaka was extraordinary today, this is a warning sign to the rest of the world!

“Aparajitha showed great fighting spirit to claw back from two games down.”

Hosts USA secured their place in the semi-finals against India – but the second seeds had to work hard for their 2/1 win overNew Zealand, the ninth seeds.

2010 world champion Amanda Sobhy put the home side ahead with an 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 win over Kiwi Megan Craig – but her younger sister Sabrina Sobhy was unable to close out the tie as Danielle Fourie drew matters level after a four-game win.

Order was restored when New Yorker Olivia Blatchford beat Rebecca Barnett 11-3, 11-7, 11-8 to clinch the US win.

“Amanda was impressive, but then their number three played very well,” explained US national coach Natalie Grainger. “”We never had any concerns that Olivia could do it, and she went about her job the way it was needed, a good performance.”

Semi-final line-up:
[2] USA v [3] INDIA

5th – 8th place play-offs:

9th – 12th place play-offs:
[8] CANADA v [11] FRANCE

13th – 16th place play-offs:
[13/16] NETHERLANDS v [13/16] GUYANA
[13/16] SOUTH AFRICA v [13/16] ECUADOR

Official website:


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