8:56 am
22 Jul 2024

Gohar & Farag Retain El Gouna Titles

27 Apr 2024

Nouran Gohar and Ali Farag have defended their El Gouna International Open titles after taking down Egyptian compatriots Nour El Sherbini and Mostafa Asal in two brilliant PSA World Tour Platinum battles by the Red Sea.

In the women's final, world No.2 and defending champion Gohar went into her clash with rival El Sherbini with an alarming 8-22 record against the world No.1. More concerning still, 'the Terminator' went into the clash having gone all season without a major trophy after an injury-hit campaign.

The former world No.1. however, was back to her very best - and covered every inch of the court fantastically and overcame three blood injuries in a dominant display, with El Sherbini unable to keep up with her national teammate's impressive pace and tenacity on a hot court as Gohar secured a 11-6, 11-13, 11-6, 11-6 win in 81 minutes.

Afterwards, Gohar paid tribute to her opponent for bringing the best out of her, before adding: "This means everything to me.

"It's an amazing night, and having this crowd watching and cheering for both of us is a huge thing for both of us. Thank you so much for coming, I love playing in Egypt because of that."

In the men's final, Farag avenged his Black Ball Open final defeat to Asal in an impressive showing against the 22-year-old former world No.1.

The reigning World Champion took the first game 11-7 before being pegged back 11-8 in the second.

Farag hit back hard in the third game, which he took 11-4 before going on a spectacular scoring run at 5-5 in game four to pull away to an 11-5 win.

The triumph brings Farag's Tour title haul to 40, equalling compatriot Ramy Ashour's career record - and moving the 32-year-old from Cairo into equal 7th place in the all-time list of male winners, with Mohamed ElShorbagy being the only current player ahead of him, in 4th place with 49 titles.

Afterwards, Farag said: "First and foremost, for Mostafa, for the player he's become, for the man he is becoming, it's an honour and a joy to share a court with him.

"It was pretty much free-flowing all the way. [It was] played in a very hard manner, but a good manner.

"I think that's the way the crowd deserves to watch squash, our beautiful sport."

For El Sherbini, Gohar, Asal and Farag, attention turns to the 2023-2024 CIB PSA World Championships, which are taking place in Cairo 9-18 May, where El Sherbini and Farag will look to defend their titles.