• Cathay Pacific •  Sun Hung Kai Financial •  Hong Kong Open 2012 • 25 Nov - 02 Dec  • 

Marwan heads back to Hong Kong

We’ve talked to two Hong Kong regulars in Amr Shabana and Nicol David but not many of the players are as frequent a visitor, or as successful in tournaments there, as the “King and Queen” of HK.

Double World Junior Champion Marwan El Shorbagy is making just his second trip to HK this year.

“I’ve only been to HK once, back in 2010 when I played my second PSA tournament there.

"I was only 16 and I travelled all alone and managed to reach the final,” recalls the Egyptian, already ranked inside the world’s top thirty.

“I learned a lot from that trip and hopefully learn more next week.”

What are you memories of Hong Kong from that first trip ?

“The people are really nice and helpful, the organisers really looked after the players well, so. I really enjoyed my time there.

“I love food - Roast Duck especially - and the night life in Hong Kong, we went out pretty much every night, and we really liked a place called Chocoholic.

“Walking was my favourite way of getting around, the traffic is really busy, but I enjoy having conversations with the taxi drivers as we don't understand each other but somehow we keep the conversation going.

“This time I might plan to go to the Disneyland and see something different, plus, I always like to come back and play in the venues where I do well so I can't wait to go back next week!”

How has your preparation for HK been going?

“I was in Millfield for few days training with my coach Ian Thomas, and then back in Egypt where I had my brother to train with.. TWICE every day.

“I get bored of training with him sometimes", so hopefully I get through qualification and play him in the first round and get my revenge !!!! [for Macau, where they played each other for the first time in a competitive match]

What are your hopes and aims for the tournament ?

“I’m playing qualifications so I’ll find out what my draw is on the 24th, I think I am feeling ready and very excited to play there again.

“I’m just going to try and enjoy my squash, enjoy being in one of the coolest places in the world, - get a new experience from the tournament, and hopefully try and get another good win over a top player.”

The IOC will be in HK too, what difference will that make ?

“I am sure the tournament will be VERY well organised, and I think this tournament could be a life changing one for our sport.

“I’m sure the organisers will attract maximum amount of people to come and watch the matches, also the top players will HAVE to play their best squash in this tournament and make the game very exciting for the crowd!

“Hopefully the IOC will be very impressed with what they see and will regret not putting squash into the Olympics a long time back!

"It’s a sport that really deserves to be in the Olympics, the game has improved a lot from four years so I think we have a strong chance this time to get in!

What's next ?

“Obviously I’ve never played on the harbour front, but its one of the venues that I will look forward to play in one day in my career. well maybe this year!

“After that it’s the world open, so I guess Hong Kong will be everyone's preparation for the worlds, I will try and prepare myself and get into the mood of the tournaments again!”
HK in 3 words ?

“Exciting, crowded,   beautiful.”

Thanks Marwan, and good luck in HK ...

Next: the top seeds talk about HK