5:50 pm
19 May 2024

Ashour Produces Perfect Prize For World Junior Championships Sponsors Prince

3 Aug 2006

When Prince decided to sponsor the Men's World Junior Championships in July in New Zealand, the leading racquet brand undoubtedly hoped that one of its players would reach the final.

However, the climax of the event which attracted well over 100 youngsters from 18 countries could not have been more perfect for Prince - with top seed Ramy Ashour taking on Egyptian compatriot and fellow Prince player Omar Mosaad for the biggest prize in junior squash.

Ashour created squash history by becoming the first man ever to win the world junior title twice. In a sensational climax on an all-glass championship court, the 18-year-old from Cairo beat Mosaad in straight games 9-1 9-3 9-1 in 43 minutes, witnessed by a full house at the 1300-seat Arena Manawatu stadium in Palmerston North.

Mosaad, the third seed, claimed his unexpected place in the final after a 9-1, 9-5, 9-7 semi-final triumph over Pakistan's No2 seed Aamir Atlas Khan.

"I'm really, really happy to have made history by winning a second time," said the new champion afterwards.

Ashour shocked the squash world two years ago when - aged 16, and seeded only to reach the last eight - he romped through the biennial event in Pakistan to become the fourth Egyptian to win the crown since the inaugural event in 1980.

"I'm a much better player than I was two years ago," he said. "I'm fitter, and more mature too," added the 18-year-old Prince star who has already made his debut in the PSA top twenty world rankings.

He received his trophy and the winner's medal from the legendary Jahangir Khan, now President of the World Squash Federation.

"Jahangir told me to keep it up, you're going to become the senior world champion, you're improving every day," Ashour said.

Andy Bunting, Prince Sports' International Player Promotions Manager, added: "What a wonderful way to finish your junior career, by becoming the World Junior Champion for the second time in a row - that's some achievement!

"Ramy is a great talent and I'm delighted he's part of the Prince Team. I believe he will continue to have a major impact on the game over future years."

Ashour and Mosaad went on to complete a fairytale conclusion for their racquet sponsors by leading Egypt to victory in the Prince Men's World Junior Team Championship, winning the title for only the second time since 1980.