From the Malaysia Star
KUALA LUMPUR: At 30, Karim Darwish knows that his career is at its tailend. No wonder he is happy to see Egypt producing one talented youngster after another.
Egypt have been a dominant force in junior squash the last few years, thanks to the rise of talented players like reigning boys’ and girls’ world junior champions Marwan El Shorbagy and Nour El Tayeb respectively.
Then, there’s also 16-year-old wonder girl Nour El Sherbini, who won the world junior title at the age of 13 and can still compete in at least two more editions of the world junior meet.
And Darwish, who has been one of the top names in men’s squash for the past decade, attributes the rise of these talented youngsters to the quality of coaches in Egypt.
“We have, quite simply, the best coaches in the world,” said Darwish.
“Squash is the number two sport in Egypt, behind football, and there are so many squash clubs.
“At every squash club, there is at least a dozen coaches.
“With so many great coaches training such a large pool of players, it is great to see our juniors making their marks on the international stage.
“Sherbini, for instance, is one bright talent and she has done very well in reaching the semi-finals here in KL.”
Darwish, a former world No. 1, added that the biggest problem faced by Egypt is their lack of sponsors for tournaments due to the country’s unstable political situation.
Egypt were supposed to organise the Under-21 World Cup earlier this year but the job was given to India due to the political unrest.
Meanwhile, there was no joy for Darwish as he failed to defend his KL Open title after losing to English veteran Adrian Grant in the semi-finals yesterday.