•  Tecnifibre British Junior Open Squash  •  02-06 January, Sheffield   •  

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TODAY in Sheffield - Daily Reports 2016

Tue 5th, Day FOUR, Semi-Finals

Six - and only six - Egyptian Champions guaranteed in Sheffield ...

It was another great day for the Egyptian contingent as they claimed twelve of the sixteen available spots in the finals, securing six all-Egyptian finals - but neither of the remaining two finals feature an Egyptian.

In the G19 event defending champion Nouran Gohar met club team-mate Mayar Hany, and after pulling clear from 7-all in the first went on to take the match in straight games.

"I was a little nervous at the start," admitted Gohar, the world junior champion, "and she played really well. We train together and met in the U13 final and U15 semis here, and it's always close between us."

England's Gina Kennedy took the lead against Nadine Shahin, but the Egyptian fought back to take the next three games, claiming her first-ever final outing in her last BJO.

"I'm just so happy to make a final at last," said Shahin, "the best I managed before was fourth. And to be playing my best friend in the final, I'm really looking forward to it I just hope it's a good match."

The B19 final will also be all-Egyptian. Top seed Youssef Soliman took a close first game against England's Kyle Finch, eased through the second and then came from 7-10 down to claim the third 12-10.

"He's had some great wins and I never even saw him play before," said Soliman. "I needed to play at a fast pace against him, but at the end I just had to keep the ball deep, I'm really happy to get through that in three games."

In a repeat of last year's B17 final Saadeldin Abouaish got the better of Eain Yow Ng for the first time in four attempts. The Egyptian took a two-nil lead and although Ng fought back to take the third, the fourth was never in doubt.

"I'm really pleased to beat him for the first time, especially after being two-nil up in last year's U17 final," said Abouaish. "Now I'm playing Youssef in a repeat of our World semi-final, I hope we can play as good a match as that one was."

The B15 final will be contested by the top two seeds, both Egyptian. Mostafa Asal was always in control of his match with Aly Eltokhy, while Omar El Torkey recovered from a game and 0-5 down to beat Moustafa Elserty in four games.

"I'm happy to be in the final," said top seed Asal. "I was fourth last year and second in the US U17 last month, so I really want to win this time!"

El Torkey was equally happy: "We play each other a lot in Egypt, so I'm happy to win this one," he said, "and very pleased to make the final in my first BJO."

The G15 final will not feature an Egyptian, as Maria Stefanoni and Aifa Azman both beat Egyptian opponents in the semis.

USA's Stefanoni staged a remarkable comeback from two-nil down against top seed Jana Shiha. The Egyptian powered through the first and then saved two game balls to take the second 12-10. Stefanoni fought back to take a close third and with Shiha unsettled by time and coaching warnings took the fourth at a canter.

Battle was rejoined in the fifth though with barely a point between them. Shiha had match balls at 10-9 and 12-11, Stefanoni at 11-10 and 13-12, finishing the match to the delight of the large US contingent in the crowd.

"I should have won the second," said Stefanoni," but I just decided I wasn't going to lose, although it was very close in the fifth!"

Her opponent in the final will be Malaysia's Azman, the second-seeded U13 champion from 2014. She got the better of last year's U13 runner-up Nouran Yousef in three, racing through the first before getting the better of two close and hotly-contested games.

At Hallamshire, England’s Sam Todd remains on course to become the first male English winner of a BJO title since James Willstrop. The top seed dispatched Egypt’s Kareem El Torkey in straight games. He will be joined in the BU13 final by Malaysia’s Muhammad Amirul Azhar who saw off a spirited fight from the giant killer, India’s Neel Joshi, twice needing to go in to extra points to secure a 3-0 win.

England’s hopes of two U13 finalists were dashed as the second seed, Egypt’s Sana Mahmoud, proved too strong for surprise semi finalist, Katie Maliff. Maliff took a 1-0 lead, but struggled to convert her chances as she fell 8/11, 12/10, 11/6, 11/8. In the other semi final the Egyptian top seed Nour Aboulmakarim faced a stern challenge from Habiba Nader early on, before easing through to the final 3-1.

The U17 semi finals were an all-Egyptian affair and served up a pair of upsets.

The top seed Hania Elhammamy needed a decider to prevent an upset against 5/8 seed Hana Ayoub. In the other semi the 3/4 seed Rowan Reda held her nerve at 2-1 to down the second seed Amina Yousry 11/6, 11/9, 7/11, 11/7 in a tempestuous contest between two closely matched rivals.

In the BU17s top seed Youssef Ibrahim had to come from a game behind to secure his final place, eventually prevailing against Ziad Sakr 8/11, 11/6, 11/5, 11/7. The last match of the day provided another upset as the other semi final saw Mostafa Montaser add the scalp of the number two seed, Marwan Tarek, to his burgeoning collection, winning 14/12 in the fifth!




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