Karim Gawad Harrow

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Nele Gilis ] LJ Anjema ] Raneem El Welily ] Donna Urquhart ] Ryan Cuskelly ] Alan Clyne ] [ Karim Abdel Gawad ] Marwan Elshorbagy ]

  The HARROW Interviews:    
  #7: Karim Abdel Gawad

Karim Abdel Gawad 
Country    :   Egypt
Age         :   25
HWR        :   2 (current)
PSA titles 
:   16    Finals :  24   Events :  97  Matches :  270

Quickies with Karim
Instagram or Snapchat ?

I am actually a big fan of instagram, but not really using snapchat ..
Favorite meal while competing ? Not competing ?

During competing I wouldn't say it's my best meal, but I am forced to eat pasta, and my favorite meal if am not competing will be sushi ...
Do you enjoy watching TV series or Movies while traveling ?

Yes I love watching movies while I am overseas, it makes me relaxed and not thinking too much about the matches and the pressure.
Who is a better doubles partner, Mark Hayden or John Burke ?

Actually I'll go for Mark Hayden, as we played last year together and we understand each other pretty well !
Where would your ideal venue to play a event ?

My ideal venue will be in front of Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.
When you started out in 2016, did you think that you would be World Champion ?

That was a dream for me that I was working for from years ago. A dream I was always thinking of and putting it in my mind everytime I went on court to practice, everytime I was feeling tired and stiff in the mornings and thinking to rest and skip training, I was thinking of the moment I would hold the world championship trophy ...

I wasn't expecting it this year though, but the good start I had in the beginning of the season starting from Hong Kong, winning Al-Ahram and reaching the semis in the U.S. Open gave me lot of confidence and belief that I can win.

How did you get started in Squash ?

I started when I was 6 , I wanted to play soccer like many kids but my father preferred if I could play an individual sport, my father took me and my sister to the squash courts and as a kid I said yes I want to play.

To be honest I still remember my feelings that day, I was scared if I didn't accept this sport he would 't let me play any other sport, so that's why I said yes, but since then I can't imagine my life without playing squash ...

What aspect of squash do you love the most ?

I love the competition so much , I love to prove myself when people don't believe in me, I also gained so many experience in such a young age from traveling and meeting new people.

How did you get involved in Team Harrow ?

In 2012, I was very lucky to receive an email from Harrow asking to sponsor me. They know how to treat professional athletes and they are like a family to the players ..

What racquet do you use ?
What do you like about it ?

I use Vibe racket, I actually use it since I started playing with Harrow back in 2012, I just love everything about it - the balance, the weight and the grip, I feel it's perfectly matched with my game, so I really recommend anyone who likes the short game to just play with this racket

What player do you like to practice with the most ?

There is a lot of good and top players that I enjoy practicing with in Egypt, such as Tarek Momen, Karim Ali, Omar Meguid and Mohamed Aboulghar, but the one I most enjoyed practicing with is Amr Shabana before he retired and moved to Canada.

What is the best thing about playing and traveling on the PSA tour ? The worst ?

The best thing about the sport is that you get to travel to many nice countries and make great relations and friends out from the sport, I have my best mates and friends from South Africa, the SACD team, without squash I wouldn't have had the chance to meet them.

The worst part, sometimes you get too tired to travel and compete in another tournament, sometimes you feel too tired to wake up and go practice, sometimes you lose matches that you were too close to win then you can't forget for many days and keep thinking about it during the late nights and can't fall asleep then have to push yourself to train and get over it.

Favorite event and why ?

I really enjoyed playing Al-Ahram, maybe because I really wanted to play there badly since I was 9 years old.

I think watching Barada and Shabana playing there was the turning point in my career and since then I wanted to take squash very seriously and wanted it to be my career and to be a full time player.

If there is one thing you could change in the sport, what would it be?

If I could change one thing in the sport it would be the refereeing system. I believe with the technology we have now we can make much less mistakes, for example we have the technology to go for a review if you are not sure about the double bounces, it will help the sport to grow ...

What would you like to see happen to make the sport grow ?

I really wish to make the squash players stars, I hate to compare but I have to now, I wish squash players could be one day like tennis players. I think our sport is great, small things can make the sport more popular and in the right position that it deserves to be in.

What are your goals for 2017 ?

My goals in 2017 is to achieve number one in the world, to play the world team championship and to win another world championship ...

Thanks Karim, and good luck for the rest of the season ...

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Also see: 2016, what a Year for Gawad, on PharaohSquash
Nele Gilis ] LJ Anjema ] Raneem El Welily ] Donna Urquhart ] Ryan Cuskelly ] Alan Clyne ] [ Karim Abdel Gawad ] Marwan Elshorbagy ]

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