FINALS 2012

Tecnifibre British Junior Open 02-06 January, Sheffield    

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TODAY in Sheffield:  FINALS Day 2012           Steve in Sheffield

Super Seven for Egypt in Sheffield

It was a great day for Egypt at the finals of the Tecnifibre British Junior Open in Sheffield, as it has been for the last few years to be fair. With 13 of the 16 finalists wearing Egyptian colours and representation in every final, at least five titles were sure to be going their way before a ball was struck.

In the event it was an impressive seven, with Pakistan claiming one and home hopes dashed this time around ... read all about it ...

G13:  [1] Habiba Mohamed (Egy) bt [3/4] Amina Yousry (Egy)
                 11/8, 11/8, 11/3 (23m)
B13:  [5/8] Ziad Sakr (Egy) bt Kashif Asif (Pak)
                  11/9, 11/9, 6/11, 11/8 (38m)
 
G15:  [1] Nouran Gohar (Egy) bt [3/4] Hana Ramadan (Egy)
                   11/7, 11/3, 11/6 (22m)
B15:  [1] Israr Ahmed (Pak) bt [2] Youssef Soliman (Egy)
                    11/4, 6/11, 11/8, 8/11, 11/7 (60m)
 
G17:  [1] Yathreb Adel (Egy) bt [2] Salma Hani (Egy)
                    11/5, 11/3, 11/13, 11/6 (37m)
B17:  [5/8] Shehab Essam (Egy) bt [5/8] Ashley Davies (Eng)
                    7/11, 13/11, 5/11, 11/9, 11/6 (71m)
 
G19:  [1] Nour El Sherbini (Egy) bt Kanzy El Dafrawy (Egy)
                    11/8, 11/8, 11/4 (25m)
B19: [1] Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) bt [2] Mohd Abouelghar (Egy)
                    11/3, 11/2, 11/7

G13:  [1] Habiba Mohamed (Egy) bt
 [3/4] Amina Yousry (Egy)              11/8, 11/8, 11/3

Two in a row for Habiba

Top seed and defending champion Habiba Mohamed made it two in a row when she overpowered compatriot Amina Yousry in the first final of the day, one of five all-Egyptian affairs.

Amina, considerably smaller than her opponent, was full of running and commitment - reminiscent of the El Torky sisters in style of play and demeanour on court - but was simply outgunned by a more powerful opponent who was fully committed to victory, screams and fist pumps accompanying many of her winning points.

Well played Habiba, your time will come, Amina ...

B13:  [5/8] Ziad Sakr (Egy) bt Kashif Asif (Pak)
                  11/9, 11/9, 6/11, 11/8

One for the "little ones"

The size difference was less extreme than in the preceding girls' match, but still Pakistan's Kashif Asif had a fair old size advantage over Egypt's Ziad Sakr.

Both played much more mature squash than a lot of the frantic, exciting early matches over at Hallamshire, and in the early stages it looked as though the Pakistan boy's extra reach and power would tell as he took leads in three of the four games.

But little Ziad has a fighting spirit to go with his skill and speed, and was ultimately a little more accurate and a little more determined as he closed down those advantages to make it two out of two for Egypt.


a stroke to finish

G15:  [1] Nouran Gohar (Egy) bt [3/4] Hana Ramadan (Egy)
                   11/7, 11/3, 11/6

A first for Gohar

Having lost out in the 2010 U13 final, top seed Nouran Gohar made no mistake in the Girls' U15 final as she beat compatriot Hana Ramadan in straight games.

The pair were evenly matched physically, but Nouran just had the edge throughout, and was never behind as she stretched out leads in all three games despite Hana's best efforts.
 

B15:  [1] Israr Ahmed (Pak) bt [2] Youssef Soliman (Egy)
                    11/4, 6/11, 11/8, 8/11, 11/7

Ahmed denies Egyptian clean sweep

With the top two seeds contesting the final you'd expect a close one, and that's exactly what we got in the Boys U15 climax.

Two well matched players physically and in playing ability, Pakistan's top seed Israr Ahmed had the slight edge on movement over his Egyptian opponent Youssef Soliman, who was marginally the more powerful, which all added up to a close match.

The first four games were shared, and at 7-all in the fifth it was anyone's. Israr managed to work his opponent out of position a couple of times, pumping the ball deep as Youseff was no letted on both attempts to get to it, then on his first match ball forced a weak return which resulted in a stroke and the start of the Pakistani celebrations.

G17:  [1] Yathreb Adel (Egy) bt [2] Salma Hani (Egy)
                    11/5, 11/3, 11/13, 11/6 (37m)

Yathreb gets her revenge

Bear with us, this might be quite complicated .... the fifth final of the day, the Girls' U17, featured last year's beaten U17 finalist who was actually the defending U15 champion for which she was still eligible and had beaten one of this year's U19 finalists in the semi-final, against the reigning U15 champion who has moved up an age group.

The former is of course Yathreb Adel, who so nearly beat Emily Whitlock last year, and the latter is Salma Hani (not Salma Hany, the U19 finalist two years ago).

What it all boils down to is that Yathreb, the taller of the two and with much more experience of big matches at junior and senior level, started the favourite in this all-Egyptian final.

And it showed at the start as she took the first two games relatively comfortably. The third was closer, but it wasn't until 9-all that Salma edged ahead for the first time, taking it 13/11 with a determined fift pump.

A decider looked on the cards as she went 6/2 up in the fourth, but back came Yathreb with nine unanswered points to claim her third BJO title.

"I finally did it," said a delighted winner. "I was really disappointed last year not to be able to defend my U15 title and to be so close to winning the U17, so I was determined to win this year."

Yathreb is still just 15, so she may defend the title next year, but no-one will be betting against her completing the full set some time in the next three years ...

[5/8] Shehab Essam (Egy) bt [5/8] Ashley Davies (Eng)
                7/11, 13/11, 5/11, 11/9, 11/6 (71m)

Shehab makes it seven

The crowd was out in force for the Boys U17 final and they were treated to a tremendous match between 5/8 seeds Ashley Davies and Shehab Essam.

Given that they both played 100-minute plus semi-finals yesterday we had no right to expect such quality and such sustained effort, but that's what we got with both sides of the crowd getting equally involved.

Home favourite Ashley took the first, had one chance to make it two-nil but was thwarted in extra points, took the lead again and at 9-all in the fourth was just two points away.

A 3-0 start in the decider wasn't enough as the Egyptian roared back, taking the decider 11/6 to dash home hopes and guarantee seven 2012 title for Egypt.

G19:  [1] Nour El Sherbini (Egy) bt Kanzy El Dafrawy (Egy)
                    11/8, 11/8, 11/4 (25m)

Sherbini strolls on

Nour El Sherbini won her fifth BJO title with a straight-game victory over her room-mate Kanzy El Dafrawy in the penultimate final.

Sherbini, who won the world junior title at 13, and beat Kanzy in the U15 final in 2009, was always ahead and despite Kanzy's considerable efforts she couldn't close the gap in the first two games, then saw her opponent race away in the third.

Kanzy has been unlucky not to win a BJO title yet, but has one more chance next year - the bad news of course is that Nour will still be around then too ...

B19: [1] Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) bt
[2] Mohd Abouelghar (Egy)                11/3, 11/2, 11/7

Shorbagy back on the Drysdale Cup

It was a repeat of the World Junior Final earlier in the year, and it was the same winner as Marwan El Shorbagy added the BJO U19 title and the Drysdale Cup to his World Champion title.

Mohamed Abouelghar simply couldn't get into the match for two games, and by the time he did get into his stride it was just too late, with Marwan in sight of the finishing line he's been aiming for for a while now.

So, El Shorbagy needs to be engraved onto the cup for a fourth time, and Marwan moves on to join Mohamed on the senior circuit ...

Watch out world, the El Shorbagy's are here ...

"Today is my dad's birthday so this is a small gift for him for everything he is for me. I am so happy to win my last bjo, I have been playing this tournament since I was 11 and today was my last match ever in this great tournament so I am very happy to leave with the good memories.

"I had a very good preparation back in Egypt with my brother. today I played very well, much better than yesterday, I know how dangerous abouelghar is so I had to keep the ball tight!

"So many people I would like to thanks Ian Thomas and Jonah Barrington of course. and my coach back in Egypt mahmoud yehia and also our national coach amir wagih.and thanks to my mum for being here with me.

"Its a very good start for 2012 for me, still one more junior tournament to go for me, the world juniors in qatar so looking forward to it."

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FINALS 2012

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