3:09 pm
21 Jun 2024

Favourites Egypt To Face Outsiders Malaysia In World Final In Hong Kong

10 Aug 2007

While favourites Egypt cruised through to the final of the Hoe Hin White Flower Ointment Women's World Junior Team Championship after comfortable victories in today's quarter and semi-finals, their opponents Malaysia pulled off two impressive upsets - over England and New Zealand - to reach the climax of the biennial World Squash Federation event in Hong Kong as fifth-seeded outsiders.

With schedules being amended in the wake of a level-eight typhoon which is about to hit the Chinese territory, Malaysia took on England in the morning's quarter-finals - and beat the second seeds 2/1. Squad number three Nessrine Ariffin fought back from 2/0 down to beat England's 15-year-old Kimberley Hay 1-9, 3-9, 9-3, 9-1, 9-7 in the 46-minute opening rubber - then, in the battle between the top strings, Low Wee Wern took 54 minutes to overcome British Junior Champion Victoria Lust 9-6, 10-9, 9-6 to ensure Malaysia's historic victory.

There was consolation for England when Sarah-Jane Perry beat the Malaysian number two Low Wee Nee 8-10, 9-2 9-2 in the best-of-three final match. - but the loss consigns England to a finish outside the top four for the first time in the event's 22-year history.

Within hours, Malaysia were facing third seeds New Zealand in the semi-finals - this time the plucky squad fighting back from a match down to triumph 2/1 - Pushppa Devi losing the opening match to kiwi Lana Harrison before sisters Low Wee Wern and Low Wee Nee beat Joelle King and Kerry Wickett, respectively, to guarantee Malaysia a top two finish for the first time since 2001.

Defending champions Hong Kong ensured a finish in the top four after beating Canada, the No10 seeds, 3/0 in the quarters. But the squad was stopped in the semi-finals by Egypt, who avenged their surprise defeat in the 2005 final by beating the hosts 3/0.

South Africa are on the verge of their best finish since 1999 after beating ninth seeds Australia 2/1 in the 9-12 play-offs. The 13th seeds now meet 11th seeds India in the play-off for ninth place.

But perhaps the most significant progress is being made by event debutants South Korea. Seeded 16th, the emerging squad recovered from a morning defeat by India to upset 14th seeds Switzerland 3/0 in the afternoon. The newcomers now take on Netherlands, the 12th seeds, in a bid for a 13th place finish.

Semi-finals:
[1] EGYPT bt [4] HONG KONG 3-0
Nour Bahgat bt Tong Tsz Wing 9-2, 9-4, 9-0
Raneem El Weleily bt Annie Au 10-9, 9-1, 9-5
Heba El Torky bt Shin Nga Leung 9-2, 9-3

[5] MALAYSIA bt [3] NEW ZEALAND 2-1
Pushppa Devi lost to Lana Harrison 5-9, 9-7, 6-9, 9-7, 6-9
Low Wee Wern bt Joelle King 9-7, 9-3, 7-9, 9-5
Low Wee Nee bt Kerry Wickett 9-7, 3-9, 9-0, 9-6

5th - 8th place play-offs:
[6] FRANCE bt [10] CANADA 2-1
Coline Aumard lost to Samantha Cornett 7-9, 9-3, 0-9, 9-5, 5-9
Camille Serme bt Laura Gemmell 9-1, 9-5, 9-6
Faustine Gilles bt Jackie Moss 9-5, 9-7, 9-6

[2] ENGLAND bt [8] USA 2-1
Victoria Bell bt Emily Park 9-4, 9-3, 9-0
Victoria Lust bt Logan Greer 9-6, 9-3, 9-0
Sarah-Jane Perry lost to Olivia Blatchford 10-8, 8-10, 7-9

9th - 12th place play-offs:
[13] SOUTH AFRICA bt [9] AUSTRALIA 2-1
Alushca Botha lost to Kimberley Bessell 7-9, 9-2, 8-10, 3-9
Milnay Louw bt Melody Francis 9-2, 9-7, 10-8
Lizane Vlok bt Maggy Marshall 9-5, 1-9, 8-10, 9-7, 9-2

[11] INDIA bt [7] GERMANY 3-0
Surbhi Misra bt Steffi Muller 9-5, 4-9, 9-4, 2-9, 9-1
Dipika Pallikal bt Sina Wall 2-9, 9-1, 9-3, 9-1
Anwesha Reddy bt Astrid Kern 9-2, 7-9, 10-9

13th - 16th place play-offs:
[12] NETHERLANDS bt [15] JAPAN 2-1
Cigany Sierveld bt Mayu Yamazaki 9-5, 9-4, 9-2
Milou van der Heijden lost to Misaki Kobayashi 2-9, 5-9, 5-9
Melissa Meulenbelt bt Ikuko Tao 9-6, 9-2, 9-2

[16] SOUTH KOREA bt [14] SWITZERLAND 3-0
Lee Ji Hyun bt Caroline Bachem 6-9, 9-5, 9-3, 9-0
Sun-Mi Song bt Jasmin Ballman 8-10, 9-1, 9-0, 9-2
Yang Youn-Soo bt Agapi Kazamia 9-2, 9-6