10:44 am
18 May 2024

El Sherbini Wins Historic World Title In Chennai

2 Aug 2009

Nour El Sherbini made history today in Chennai, India, when she won the women's title in the World Junior (U19) Squash Championships to become the sport's youngest ever world champion - at the age of just 13!

Seeded only to reach the last sixteen, the Egyptian schoolgirl from Alexandria despatched the sixth seed, the No2 seed Heba El Torky and then the eighth seed to reach the final where she faced fourth seed Nour El Tayeb - her second higher-ranked Egyptian opponent.

Undaunted by the historic opportunity that beckoned, El Sherbini recovered from a game down to beat El Tayeb 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 in 31 minutes to claim the title.

"I'm so happy," the new champion told www.squashsite.co.uk/worldjuniors after her unique triumph - in which she was the lowest-seeded player ever to win the world junior crown.

"After losing the first, I remembered how I came back when I was down against Heba, and that gave me the belief I could do it again. I kept telling myself I could do it, and I did!"

Incredibly, El Sherbini, who celebrates her 14th birthday in November, will have the chance to defend her title on five further occasions - with the prospect of recording a further piece of squash history by becoming the first player to win a world junior title more than twice!

Mohamed El Shorbagy made it a notable Egyptian double when he successfully defended his men's title - on the first occasion that a world junior title has been contested annually. The 18-year-old favourite from Alexandria defeated second-seeded Malaysian Ivan Yuen 11-9, 12-10, 11-2 in 36 minutes.

"I'm really happy to win this world junior title," said El Shorbagy, who became only the second player in the history of the men's championship to claim a second title - though his predecessor, compatriot Ramy Ashour, did so when the event was only contested biennially.

"This is year was much harder than the last one. I can say that this was the hardest week I've ever had in my life - I just couldn't sleep properly for one day, so I'm really glad that I won the tournament.

"Me and Ivan had a very tough first two games today and I was really glad to win them," added the world No17. "He is a very good player and very fair and I'm sure he'll get to the top in the PSA very quickly if he keeps training hard.

"I would like to thank my dad and my mum a lot, they did really a lot for me and winning this title again, it's just a small thing I can do for them.

"Jonah (Barrington) too is a very special man to me - he did a lot for me in the past three years and without him I would have never dreamed to do what I have done till now in squash. He taught me lots of things and I'm still learning every day from him something new. He has so much of experience and he gave me so much from his experience. He is so special for me and he'll always be!"

"I came back to Egypt one month before the world juniors and I was training with Amir Wagih. He was taking me every day and giving me every day a session at eight in the morning I really worked hard with him before the tournament, so thanks to him so much too. Whenever I'm back in Egypt I always go and train with him.

"I would like to thank the Egyptian Squash Federation too. They really understand how to make the players concentrate during the tournament and they do everything for us, so I have to thank Assem Khalifa a lot."

Men's final:
[1] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt [2] Ivan Yuen (MAS) 11-9, 12-10, 11-2 (36m)

Women's final:
[9/16] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [4] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (31m)