12:41 am
16 Apr 2024

Title-Holders Egypt Crush Switzerland In Women's World Team Championship Opener

10 Dec 2022

Hosts Egypt made the perfect start to their title defence at the WSF Women's World Team Championship in Cairo when they breezed past Switzerland as the championship made its long-awaited return.

After a lengthy hiatus for the World Team Championship - which was last played in China in 2018 - due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Egypt squad quickly reminded the watching world why they were seeded top and clear favourites for the 2022 title.

World No.1 Nouran Gohar set the tone for a dominant performance in the first tie of the pools stage at the Madinaty Sporting Club. The 25-year-old was in typically efficient form as she stormed past Switzerland's Cindy Merlo 11-4, 11-2, 11-3 in 18 minutes before Nour El Tayeb and championship debutant Hania El Hammamy finished the job with 3/0 wins of their own over Ambre Allinckx and Nadia Pfister, respectively.

"It's always great to play the World Teams, especially after we missed it for four years," said Gohar, who heads a squad of four girls all of whom are ranked within the world top six! "Now we're back in Egypt and it's very special to us. We hope we can make everyone here proud."

Elsewhere, there were battling wins for both France and England. France, seeded fourth and recalling Camille Serme and Coline Aumard from retirement, fell behind in their clash with Japan when Satomi Watanabe got the better of Melissa Alves 11-4, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5 in an entertaining 42-minute encounter.

Alves' teammates Serme and Aumard quickly steadied the ship, though, with Aumard levelling the tie with a 3/1 win over Risa Sugimoto before former world No.2 Serme completed the comeback by beating Akari Midorikawa 3/0 in 19 minutes.

No.3 seeds England, meanwhile, recorded a 3/0 win over South Africa. Jasmine Hutton led the team out and came from 2/1 down to edge past South Africa No.1 Alexandra Fuller 3/2 in a tense meeting, before Julianne Courtice - a late call up in place of the injured Georgina Kennedy - and Lucy Turmel wrapped up the match with comfortable straight game victories over Cheyna Wood and Lizelle Muller.

"When we saw the order of play, we realised it was probably not as favourable to us as we would have liked," French National Coach Philippe Signoret said afterwards.

"Satome is a player in great form at the moment, and here, she proved it yet again.

"We've played Japan three times in the World Teams and each time, they give us hell!"

In the day's other matches, [5/6] seeds Malaysia swept past debutants Chinese Taipei in a total of just 43 minutes, while No.2 seeds USA - hoping to improve on three consecutive fifth-place finishes - eased past Australia 3/0.