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
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
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 ...
"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.
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
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.
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
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 entire Family, Grandfather, Uncles, Aunts, Cousins,
Sisters and my In laws for always supporting me.
My best friends, Nourhan,
Sarah, Moe, Omneya, Nour
and Nour, Engy and Omar (Aziz).
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.
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
And finally Tarek Momen. My Masterpiece! BELIEVE and you're
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.
Tameem El Welily
Yes I always believed and was waiting for this day more than
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
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
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.
"It is not so much about
being no.1 ...
It is for how long you be able to stay no.1"
achievement is that she is The 1st Egyptian Female Player
ever to be no.1 in all sports not only Squash."
playing sports will make you loose your ethics then there is
no need to play sports at all"
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
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
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
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
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
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
I knew she would reach it at some point.. Not necessarily
this year or the next.. But for sure in the upcoming near
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
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
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
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.
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!!
THE AMERICAN MUM & DAD
Beth and Bob
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
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.
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.