3:07 pm
21 Jun 2024

Hosts USA To Face Egypt In Dream World Final

30 Jul 2011

Hosts USA survived a tense semi-final battle against India in the WSF Women's World Junior Team Squash Championship in Boston to set up a dream final with defending champions Egypt in the World Squash Federation event at the Murr Center at Harvard University.

Amanda Sobhy, the world No20 and second highest-ranked player in the event, put the hosts into the lead with an 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 victory over Indian top string Anaka Alankamony, the reigning Asian Junior Champion.

The tie was turned on its head when India's second string Saumya Karki, a 16-year-old making her debut in the championship, played the game of her life to beat experienced Olivia Blatchford, a New Yorker ranked 37 in the world who has already represented her country at senior level, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 in 28 minutes.

The decider pitched US No4 Haley Mendez, a 17-year-old from New York, against India's third string Aparajitha Balamurukan, also 17, from Chennai.

Mendez squeezed home in the first, but Balamurukan upped the pace in the second to draw level. It was nip and tuck in the third and fourth games - but it was Mendez who held her nerve to take the final three points of the fourth to score a dramatic 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9 victory which delighted the packed crowd.

"Haley is so fit, she just kept on going, kept on running and worked so hard to pull that victory out for us," team spokesman Jack Wyant told www.worldsquash.org/worldjuniors2011 after the USA celebrated its first appearance in the final.

"Amanda was solid again. She's saving her best squash for the final - she was gutted by the result in the individuals and tomorrow's an opportunity to show that she's at the same level as the World Champion.

"Making the final was everything for us - it means we've medalled for sure, which is a first, certainly in my lifetime, and there's still a title to play for. The pressure was all on us tonight, but tomorrow it's on Egypt as the defending champions, we'll just give it all we've got."

By comparison, favourites Egypt strolled into the final - for the fifth time in a row - after beating sixth seeds Hong Kong China 2/0. Egypt's two world individual championships finalists Nour El Tayeb and Nour El Sherbini produced convincing displays - world champion El Tayeb beating Ho Ka Po 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 and former champion El Sherbini overcoming Ka-Yi Lee 11-5, 10-12, 12-10, 11-2.

Final:
[1] EGYPT v [2] USA

3rd place play-off:
[3] INDIA v [6] HONG KONG CHINA

5th place play-off:
[4] ENGLAND v [5] MALAYSIA

7th place play-off:
[9] NEW ZEALAND v [10] WALES

9th place play-off:
[7] AUSTRALIA v [8] CANADA

11th place play-off:
[11] FRANCE v [12] GERMANY

13th place play-off:
[13/16] NETHERLANDS v [13/16] SOUTH AFRICA

15th place play-off:
[13/16] GUYANA v [13/16] ECUADOR

Official website: www.worldsquash.org/worldjuniors2011

Semi-finals:
[1] EGYPT bt [6] HONG KONG CHINA 2/0
Nour El Tayeb bt Ho Ka Po 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 (19m)
Nour El Sherbini bt Ka-Yi Lee 11-5, 10-12, 12-10, 11-2 (30m)

[2] USA bt [3] INDIA 2/1
Amanda Sobhy bt Anaka Alankamony 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (21m)
Olivia Blatchford lost to Saumya Karki 7-11, 9-11, 9-11 (28m)
Haley Mendez bt Aparajitha Balamurukan 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9 (42m)

5th - 8th place play-offs:
[5] MALAYSIA bt [10] WALES 2/1
Tan Yan Xin lost to Tesni Evans 4-11, 11-3, 6-11, 10-12 (36m)
Vanessa Raj bt Hannah Davies 11-2, 11-7, 11-7 (19m)
Celine Yeap bt Fiona Murphy 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (24m)

[4] ENGLAND bt [9] NEW ZEALAND 2/1
Emily Whitlock bt Megan Craig 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8 (42m)
Sophie Lemom lost to Rebecca Barnett 3-11, 8-11, 5-11 (23m)
Victoria Temple-Murray bt Danielle Fourie 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5 (51m)

9th - 12th place play-offs:
[8] CANADA bt [11] FRANCE 2/1
Danielle Letourneau lost to Julia Lecoq 5-11, 12-10, 6-11, 7-11 (31m)
Michelle Gemmell bt Marie Stephan 8-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7 (42m)
Hollie Naughton bt Elvira Bedjai 11-2, 7-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6 (39m)

[7] AUSTRALIA bt [12] GERMANY 2/1
Tamika Saxby bt Caroline Sayegh 11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3 (29m)
Selena Shaikh lost to Annika Wiese 8-11, 3-11, 6-11 (19m)
Bethany Brazier bt Steffi Rosner 11-3, 11-6, 11-5 (16m)

13th - 16th place play-offs:
[13/16] NETHERLANDS bt [13/16] GUYANA 3/0
Ilona Lagerweij bt Ashley Khalil 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (19m)
Tessa ter Sluis bt Keisha Jeffrey 11-4, 12-10, 11-9 (26m)
Nikki van der Heijden bt Mary Fung-A-Fat 11-6, 7-11, 11-1 (21m)

[13/16] SOUTH AFRICA bt [13/16] ECUADOR 3/0
Alexandra Fuller bt Mireya Lucia Espinosa Proano 11-4, 11-3, 11-2 (16m)
Elani Landman bt Nicole Gordillo Bravo 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 (19m)
Lume Landman bt Maria Jose Guarderas 11-5, 11-1 (10m)