10:50 pm
19 Apr 2024

British Junior Open Hit For Six By Egypt

7 Jan 2008

For the fourth time since 2001, Egypt clinched six of the eight titles in the Tecnifibre British Junior Open in a dramatic climax to the world's most prestigious junior squash event in the Yorkshire city of Sheffield.

With a record 11 finalists on the fifth and final day of the event - which attracted more than 450 competitors from all over the world - Egypt were represented in all but one of the finals!

Top-seeded Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy won the Men's U19 title for the Drysdale Cup, beating France's 5/8 seed Gregoire Marche 9-6, 9-7, 9-1 in a 50-minute final. The UK-based 16-year-old from Alexandria ended domestic interest in the event after beating British National junior champion Adrian Waller in the previous round - and has now recorded his third successive British Junior Open triumph.

In the only final without Egyptian interest, French favourite Camille Serme fought back from two games down to overcome Hong Kong's No2 seed Annie Au 7-9, 2-9, 9-3, 9-3, 9-7 in 69 minutes to win the Women's U19 crown for the first time after finishing as runner-up in 2007.

Karim Abdel Gawad produced one of the three upsets of the day in an all-Egyptian Men's Under 17 final. The 5/8 seed, in his first appearance in a final, beat top seed Amr Khalid Khalifa - last year's U15 champion - 10-8, 9-7, 9-7 in 54 minutes.

It was 'fifth time lucky' and 'fifth time unlucky' in the climax of the Women's U17 event. On course for her fifth British Junior Open title in a row, top-seeded Egyptian Heba El Torky crashed out 9-6, 5-9, 9-6, 1-9, 9-5 to India's Dipika Pallikal, a 5/8 seed.

"I've been coming for five years and never got past the quarter-finals, so to win the title is just unbelievable," the 16-year-old from Chennai told the official website www.bjosquash.com

Pakistan's only finalist Nasir Iqbal went down in the Men's Under 15 final. The 3/4 seed, winner of the U13 trophy last year, was beaten 9-2, 9-6, 9-1 by Egypt's top seed Karim Ali Fathi, the U13 champion two years ago.

The all-Egyptian Women's Under 15 climax also produced a win for a former U13 champion when second seed Nour El Tayeb beat 3/4 seed Menat Allah Naser 10-8, 9-0, 9-2.

The Men's Under 13 final revealed the biggest upset of the day when Osama Khalid Khalifa defeated fellow Egyptian Shehab Essam, the top seed, 9-5, 9-0, 9-7. Khalifa, whose older brother was runner-up in the U17 final, was only seeded to reach the last 16 - but also despatched the event's No2 seed Dylan Murray on his way to the final.

The Women's Under 13 final saw the swiftest win of the day when Egypt's top seed Nour El Sherbeny despatched compatriot Nouran Ibrahim, a 3/4 seed, 9-4, 9-1, 9-2 in just 20 minutes.

RESULTS: Tecnifibre British Junior Open Squash Championships, Sheffield, England

Men's Under 19 final:
[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt [5/8] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 9-6, 9-7, 9-1 (50m)

Men's Under 17 final:
[5/8] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [1] Amr Khalid Khalifa (EGY) 10-8, 9-7, 9-7 (54m)

Men's Under 15 final:
[1] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt [3/4] Nasir Iqbal (PAK) 9-2, 9-6, 9-1 (29m)

Men's Under 13 final:
[9/16] Osama Khalid Khalifa (EGY) bt [1] Shehab Essam (EGY) 9-5, 9-0, 9-7 (27m)

Women's Under 19 final:
[1] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [2] Annie Au (HKG) 7-9, 2-9, 9-3, 9-3, 9-7 (69m)

Women's Under 17 final:
[5/8] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [1] Heba El Torky (EGY) 9-6, 5-9, 9-6, 1-9, 9-5 (48m)

Women's Under 15 final:
[2] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [3/4] Menat Allah Naser (EGY) 10-8, 9-0, 9-2 (31m)

Women's Under 13 final:
[1] Nour El Sherbeny (EGY) bt [3/4] Nouran Ibrahim (EGY) 9-4, 9-1, 9-2 (20m)