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Raneem: World Number One   |   Nicol: World Number One

Raneem El Welily - World Number One, 1st Sep 2015
This is one of those moments ... this is one of those times, those seconds you are lucky to witness, that you remember 10, 20, 30 years later.

The time Jahangir lost after 555 matches won. The time Nicol won her first World Title in HK. The time Nicol saved four match balls in the Cairo World final  2014 ... And now, the time Nicol stopped being Number One after an unbroken run of 109 months (112 in total), more than nine years of complete domination.

Yes, an incredible run for Queen Nicol. Anybody who has ever approached Nicol knows that this is not over. But just for a second, let's remember what she's achieved ... SO FAR ...!

But hey,  today, it's all about the new women's World Number One - the 13th player to hold that ranking, and the first Egyptian woman (in ANY sport) ...

I give you Rino Raneem El Welily ...

Reaction: Raneem | Husband | Brother | Dad | Mum | Friends 

Best/Worst Memory

"I'm sure my family, my coaches
are extremely happy".....

"I'm so confused about this.  I mean yes I have reached the Number One spot, yes I'm super happy that I achieved that and I've always wanted to be Number One, ALWAYS, to the point that sometimes people made fun of me, for saying that this is exactly my target and goal out loud.


I'm also very aware of the fact that I'm not sitting there comfortably I'm barely touching it, what's the points difference again? It's so tiny, it's just a matter of calculation at this point.

So yes I've reached that spot but I could be out of it in a month again, and that's ok because I still have to fight harder for it, because yes I did so well, but only for half a season. So I'm really excited to see how the next season will go.

I'm sure that my family is extremely happy my coaches too. I'm happy for them that all their hard work with me over the years paid off.

I'm happy to have reached this point with them by my side. They've done so much for me and I hope that I one day I could do half as much for them.

I've always heard people around me say that I could be or should be Number One. It was encouraging at points and frustrating at others, and at so many points I lost hope in achieving that goal.

"that's what I want, but how bad"

Reaching that spot is so hard mentally, having such a big goal in life is always so hard to achieve, because your eyes are not always on it. Its so vague, yes that's what I want but how bad? And what is it I should do to achieve it??

Lots and lots and lots of small targets to get to that one big goal and it is extremely hard. Having your eyes on just that every minute of every day is just impossible. You forget it a lot of times, you lose hope at times

BUT you know when you want it the most?? Every time you lose!!

When I lose that's when I see it the most. And as much as I hate bringing up that match from the World Open again, but I remember saying those words to my coaches: yes I lost the World Open but now I want the Number One spot.

I'll keep working till I reach one of those two goals I don't care what comes first, but I have to reach at least one of them. So yes this year is the year I want it the most, so I have to keep fighting.

"Nicol is going to fight very hard,
this season is going to be on fire"...

And yes of course I know Nicol is going to fight very hard, has she ever not? It's NICOL, it's who she is. But not only her, everyone else is on the rise, everybody else is getting better by the minute, so as always this season is going to be on fire.

"Huge thanks to"...

My Mother the person whom I owe everything to, my Father my role model and my Brother my inspiration.

My entire Family, Grandfather, Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, Sisters and my In laws for always supporting me.

My best friends, Nourhan, Hania, Sarah, Moe, Omneya, Nour and Nour, Engy and Omar (Aziz).

My Coaches:
Haitham Effat, Ahmed Faragallah and Bassem Makram, you've earned this and you've worked for this just as much as I have, so thank you is not enough.

Wadi Degla: Karim Darwish thank you for your appreciation and respect and to the whole Wadi Degla team, thank you for killing me and motivating me on court.

My Sponsors:
Abu Qir Petroleum: My first Sponsor ever, thank you for always being there.
Harrow Sports: Mark Hayden and the entire team at Harrow years and years of endless support.

Everyone that ever believed in me, all the coaches I've worked with in the past, you all had a huge impact on me so thank you.

And finally Tarek Momen. My Masterpiece! BELIEVE and you're THERE.

The Husband

Tarek Momen

Really proud of her!!!!

You see in any sport thousands of young kids share just one dream of becoming the best in their field, and only very few succeed in fulfilling that dream. It takes courage, determination, perseverance, and most importantly talent to be the best in the world.

Raneem possesses all these qualities, and today she made us all proud not only by becoming the new World Number One, ending an impressive run of 9 consecutive years by a true legend that is Nicol David, but also by becoming the 1st Egyptian woman ever to do it.

I really can't describe how proud I am of her, I can't wait to see her maintain a firm grip over that position for as long as she could, and hopefully topping that up with a World Open title soon.

the Brother

Tameem El Welily

"I always believed"...

Yes I always believed and was waiting for this day more than her.

Our Parents have done a lot for us and this is the least acknowledgment they deserve.

As an older brother I used to push Raneem to new limits when it came to squash or being competitive in any other aspect (we still do enjoy this rivalry in video games). I even used to take her on my team when we played soccer as little kids (9 & 6 years old ). Later on she won 3 local soccer titles in a row in Helioplos having Omneya, Kendy Dafrawy and Eman El Amir on her team.

Now I can proudly say she is the one pushing me to new limits, she became an inspiration to all of us and our support will always be there for her no matter what.

I always return to her when I have something bothering me or a decision that Iím hesitant about, living with Raneem made me put high expectations from the women I dated and the expectations Iím waiting Iím looking for my wife in real life.

Raneem results are unpredictable, she will always surprises you at the end like she did recently in Cairo 2014 and British open 2015 but with all due respect her come backs are spectacular.

From losing a British Junior open final to win a World Junior open, from losing in the quarters of a wispa tournament (Alex open) and thinking of quitting to return and helping her team win their first ever team title and finally from the World Open Final in Cairo to become the first Egyptian ever crowned as world number one ending Nicol David's run of 9 years!!!

I think that says it all.

the Father

Yasser ElWeleily

The choice of playing squash was her mum's. I never expected her to be so talented .. She was always an energetic child and was always competing against her brother .

After watching the game of squash, I realised it was an intelligence game .. so knowing how intelligent she is ..

Besides being athletic, I expected her to be a top 10 player
After becoming pro...

We started learning from Raneem how much determination, effort and perseverance it takes to achieve your goal. Raneem to me is an Inspiration...

As for the loss Of the World Champs in Cairo I knew her time was coming ..

There are Tactics and Strategies .. You can loose a battle but you can win the War...of course squash is not WAR but a squash player is a Warrier...

I always tell Raneem that the most important thing in life is your smile and your freedom so always stay and feel free..

the Mother

"It is not so much about being no.1 ... It is for how long you be able to stay no.1"

Reeme Mansi

"Raneem's achievement is that she is The 1st Egyptian Female Player ever to be no.1 in all sports not only Squash."

Reeme Mansi

"If playing sports will make you loose your ethics then there is no need to play sports at all"
Reeme Mansi

Reeme Mansi

Oh I can't believe it .... At last a dream come true .. Myself, my  Husband and all who have witnessed the rise of Raneem are now very very HAPPY!

I don't believe Nicol will give us the time to celebrate ... She is after all The World Squash Reigning Queen and will always be...

Raneem followed Tameem's steps and she showed talent from the very start ... I was a basketball player myself .. So I cannot say that I could have feel if she would be promising or not ... But the coaches and everybody who saw her said that she is going to be a great thing.

I always used to tell her when she filled in the form for the WISPA membership: your dream, your target has got to be no. 1...

But of course you know Raneem, always doing the unexpected ... When she is supposed to be booming .... She is ... lalalalalala .... Somewhere else ..

But even then, people had faith in her talent. I believed and still believe she has something special ..

Things in Egypt are not carried out easily as they might seem to you .. We have to follow our children, it is not like other countries where they follow a talent and take full responsibility .. Parents have to be the coaches the Physio, the Mental Coach...and Programmers if necessary.

As for reaching the top ... I always had the feeling nobody can be no.1 as long as Nicol is playing.

And at this minute, I still think there will be a sudden Tournament before next month and that Nicole will be able to make it and stay no. 1

It is not so much about being no.1... It is for how long you be able to stay no.1 ... Raneem will stay as the player who was able to reach the top while Nicole is still at her peak...
She maybe no.1 for a month or even more hopefully, but this will never be compared to Nicole's achievement.

So yes I always dreamed Raneem would be able to reach this achievement

Thank God.

She really deserve all the best .. I'm not saying just because she is my daughter but she is an honest, decent and such a giving person always neglecting herself ... I am sure those who have had come close to her can talk much better than me.

And I think that the heartily comments, wishes and feelings you sometimes feel and see in people's eyes is a God's Gift.

In the World Open I just felt that it is not meant to be that day ... And I had a serene feeling against all expectations

Of course there could have been no more perfect day than that day ... But the year before, the World Champion lost in her hometown in the Semi ... So there is no perfect day.

There is The Special Day ... So we always pray for that day.

I would like to thank all who believed in Raneem ... Thank You. You where the light in the dark tunnel that kept us racing against all odds.

I would like to thank all her sponsors. All her coaches who made an impact and guided her in different stages ... The different Boards in the Squash Federations ... the Ministry of Sports and the Minister Of Sports Mr. Khaled Abd ElAziz who despite Raneem's loss in the World Open congratulated us on such a great talent, performance and manners ...

Raneem's achievement is that she is The First Egyptian Female Player ever to be no.1 in all sports not only Squash.

To conclude, I would add that Raneem was always a smiling child ... And that we raised our kids to know that behaviors are the most important thing in life ...

So if playing sports will make you loose your ethics then there is no need to play sports at all ...

Raneem's dad is adding that behind every athlete there is an unknown soldier and on Raneem's case it is her mum.

And I add that as a family we all stood together and although I was fully occupied with every single data I could have never made it without my husband support and clear and wise decisions ... Cause I always went back to him with every single problem that occurred ...


Hania el Shamaa

Honestly, I knew she would reach it at some point.. Not necessarily this year or the next.. But for sure in the upcoming near years.

The world Open in Cairo was disappointing for all of us.. She was this close to winning the game.. I honestly believed it was just bad luck. Luck chose not to play on Raneem's side that day. Squash is about fitness, concentration, hard work and intelligence. But when two excellent players meet on court luck often sides Nevertheless, I knew Raneem would make it one day.

Raneem missed Hong Kong's open in August 2014 just to attend my wedding. Knowing that she chose the wedding over this special tournament made me feel bad. I tried to make her re-consider, knowing how important this tournament is for her squash career and her world ranking. Now, I'm truly thankful and grateful for making her miss the Hong Kong open..

If only I knew what most of you don't know: Raneem is this one friend anyone would wish for. Whenever she's needed, she's the first to be there.. She's is the true definition of a best friend.. A friend who would sacrifice her time, comfort and her own self for others.. Thank you Raneem for defining selfless, always putting others before yourself. You are an idol and a role model for thousands of young women across the world and Egypt, and I'm so proud to have you as my lifetime best friend  ... love you RinÝ

Sarah Khaled

I knew that this moment is coming soon..

We've been waiting for it as she worked hard to get there.. She deserves it with no doubts.. Being on top wasn't that far from her.

Missing the chance in the world open in Cairo last time only delayed it but we all believed that she will make it happen taking revenge which exactly happened.. She grabbed the title in Alexandria among her family, friends and fans who fully supported her. She always have been and always will be our champion and she never failed to make us all proud..

Our star is stubborn and always eager to achieve her goal and pursuing her dream, she's down to earth and lovable, she's funny to be around in addition to being the best friend anyone could ask for. She deserves to be World Number One and we're all very happy and proud of her.

Nourhan el Azabawy ..

I have known Raneem for about 10 years now and I never doubt that she would reach the number 1 spot some day. It was more of a when than an if.

Raneem is a very dedicated person and when she puts her  mind to something, she gets it done. That in addition to her immense talent were a guaranteed formula.

Losing the match in Cairo was particularly hard and emotional especially with it being on homeland. She was very, very close to making history again. But like mentioned, it was a minor setback and knowing Raneem, I had no doubt that she would bounce back up and push harder.

Well, as many people know, Raneem's an amazing person on and off court. Her sportsmanship, integrity and talent make her a fair/excellent opponent to play. And off court she is one of the most pure-hearted people you could ever meet.

She always bends over backwards to help out or just be there for support. I have known her since back when I had to collect all her assignments when she was off on a tournament when we were still in school. I remember the teachers always asking me "Where is she off to now?" and "Which round has she reached this time?" and even back then I could always tell that they were just as proud of her as we were.

I could not be more proud of her for having finally achieved such an accomplishment and I'm glad to have been part of this journey with her, to have seen her grow as an athlete and a person and to have seen her climb up the ranking.

Here's to maintaining that number one spot and to many, many more achievements yet to come!!

Beth and Bob Wain Brandon

I always had faith that Raneem would reach the top because she plays the game like nobody else! She has the skills but also the personality that allows her to have the inner drive to do the best. Nobody plays like Raneem!

What others may not know about Raneem is how kind and caring she is. She is a warrior on the court but a pussy cat off the court.

She never hesitates to offer a helping hand to others and is sweet and respectful to all. She also has a wicked sense of humour! She keeps us smiling all the time.

Lara Hussein

I have always believed in Raneem and her devotion to squash. It takes a talented and really decisive person to be on top of this game and Raneem had it all.

When she lost the match in Cairo, she was still the champ to me. I would like the whole world to know how a great, confident, and responsible person she is

To me and the whole family she is #1.

God bless her.

Nicol David - World Number One 2006-2015

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