Egypt dominates the World Junior Squash Championship and take home both men’s and women’s titles
With their latest win at the 2018 World Junior Squash Championship Chennai, the Egyptians have proven that their talent in this game is unmatched. Such is the extent of their dominance that it was clear from well before the finals that the trophy would be clinched by an Egyptian duo. However, while some may think that clashes between compatriots would be friendly and a bit dull, both matches were anything but. In the men’s’ category, underdog Mostafa Asai thrashed top seed Marwan Tarek 3-0 while in the women’s category, defending champ Rowan Elaraby crushed Hania El Hammamy 3-1.
Defending champion vs. second seed
The men’s final was predicted to be an extremely interesting match as it was an epic tussle between the defending champion Marwan Tarek and second in line Mostafa Asai. But if the audience expected to see a balanced match between two players of equal calibre, they were in for a surprise. From the very outset, Mostafa made his intentions clear and skillfully defeated Tarek 11-7. Tarek resolved to bounce back in the second game, and he very nearly did, finishing 13-11, but his failure to convert two match points meant that he wouldn’t take the trophy home this time. In the third match, Mostafa took advantage of the momentum and Tarek’s broken spirit to seal the deal with a massive 11-4 win.
‘I’m overjoyed to become the World Champion,” said Mostafa, “it’s great that we had two all Egyptian finals.”
— nnis (@nnisnews) July 23, 2018
A repeat telecast
The women’s final looked set to be a somewhat scripted repeat telecast of the two times that these players have previously met, and in a lot of ways, it was. Being the top two seeds from Egypt, Hania El Hammamy and Rowan Elaraby have met twice at the world stage prior to this, once in a 2016 semi-final and once in the 2017 final. Rowan has won both those times, and she seemed to be more than happy to recreate that result on the finals day of this World Junior Squash Championship. The first two matches were dominated by Rowan, as she showcased some great shots and won 11-4 and 11-9, but in the third match Hania served her a tough reply. Capitalizing on two errors made by Rowan in the final stage of the game, Hania clinched the match 12-10. But Rowan ensured that she didn’t repeat those mistakes and fought hard to win the next game 11-9, making her the champion.
“It feels amazing,” said Rowan, “I’m so happy! That was my last World Junior Squash Championship and if I hadn’t won I know I would have been so sad.”
As the tournament now progresses into it’s team stages, we can certainly look forward to some great squash on display and see if any nation has what it takes to dethrone individual champions and favorites Egypt.