• Men's World Junior Squash Championships • 13-17 July 2011 • Belgium •  






TODAY in Herentals              Fram on the keyboard, Steve behind the shutter

Finals Gallery (178)

Finals Day 
Consolation Plate Final
  Faraz Khan (Usa) bt Felipe Tovar (Col)
             13/15, 11/8, 8/11, 11/3

Plate Final
    Adam Auckland (Eng) bt Vrishab Kotian (Ind)
             11/6, 7/11, 11/4, 13/11

Special Plate Final
   Martin Svec (Cze) bt Arthur Moineau (Fra)
            13/11, 11/6, 13/11

[2] Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy)
[5/8] Mohamed Abouelgar (Egy)  11/6, 11/6, 11/8 (45m)

[2] Marwan El Shorbagy bt [5/8] Mohamed Abouelgar
            11/6, 11/6, 11/8 (45m)


It must have been anything but easy to start this match for Marwan. One, the crowd wanted to see the boy that ousted the Champion do well. Two, never easy to be the favourite. Three. Not easy to be the Brother of a Two Time World Champion.

Yes, that was a lot to carry around for those shoulders.

For Mohamed, though, not that easy either. Yes, no pressure whatsoever, no expectations, but a lovely 70m match a few hours before, plus, the gigantic emotional excitement/drain of beating the reigning champion…

As I expected it to be honest, it all came down to unforced errors. Marwan, 3. Mohamed, 15.

First game, nothing between the players, up to 4/4. Very long rallies, that went straight to Mohamed’s legs. From 4/4, 6 tins in 7 points, giving the favourite 5 game balls, 10/5. Mohamed saves one with a lovely volley drop shot reflex, but Marwan ends the game with a stunning backhand boast, 11/6.

Again, nothing much between the players up to 3/3, then Marwan capitalises on his opponent errors to get quickly to 8/4. Some lovely disputed rallies, with Mohamed attacking at will, and Marwan retrieving beautifully, but then Marwan getting complete control of the T, and Mohamed, doing an awful lot of running…

Same score in the second, 11/6.

The third could have been a walk in the park, and it started like it, 5/0 for Marwan. But bless him, Mohamed just clawed in, cutting down the errors, and came back to 6/6. 7/7. The crowd was quite rightly behind the youngest, they want to see more of this.

But if Marwan didn’t control his emotions that well at the start this tournament, at this crucial time, he does. He keeps on playing a mature squash, patient, he is lucid, he builds his rallies, applying more and more pressure on Mohamed that is giving his all.

But his “all” won’t suffice, and as Mohamed couldn’t get to a backhand drop shot, Marwan raised his arms in the air, embraced his mate, fell on his knees to kiss the floor and thank God for this victory.

A few long seconds there, then he went out of court, and found his mum in the crowd to share this very emotional moment with her.

Today, History was made I believe, as I do not remember two brothers winning Junior Championship titles at two years interval on top of that!

Not to mention that at SquashSite, we do remember a little boy approaching us years ago, to write reports for us – that Steve spent hours rewriting of course, as his English was a bit approximate at the time, bless him – and who is today World Junior Champion.

Can’t help being a bit emotional, sue me.

You know, I had a terrible night last night, I just couldn’t sleep at all….

This was a very difficult match mentally, as Mohamed and myself are best friends, and we know each other’s game so well, we’ve been playing each other since we were 10!

There are so many Egyptian world juniors champions, we keep it going, and teach each other the game of squash!!!

I’m so happy right now, I’ve been dreaming of this since I was ten, and when I saw my brother getting his first title in Switzerland, I wanted so much to win too…

I think that today, I played a better game than he did, he was probably tired from his 70m match against Khalifa yesterday.

I think I played the right tactic, and I didn’t make many errors I think…

I have one more year to year to go, and next year will be in Egypt, so I so want to win it, because it will be in my own country. But it will be hard.

I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it.

How can I thank Jonah, how can I express all of what that man has done for me. I owe him so much. And I would like to dedicate this title to my dad, whose always been there for me.

I need to thank my mum for coming here, and being there with me, and supporting me, and my brother Mohamed for being the best big brother ever.

Also, Ian Thomas, and our National coach Amir Wagih, who made us work hard to prepare for those championships, and of course, our Egyptian Federation….

I’m so happy, I can’t believe it.

"I have never seen in my life my brother playing that well ... he actually played the match of his life ... I am so happy right now I was in tears once he won ...

This is just the best gift we could give our parents to what they do for us ... having two sons who won the world juniors which is something that has never been done before ...

I hope this is a new start for his squash career BUT still if he tries to beat me one day I am going to KILL HIM!!!"

I’m disappointed with the result of the match, but not with this tournament.

I didn’t perform at my best today, I was really tired from yesterday, I didn’t have much left in the tank when I started. And he played well, he made the rallies last, and that was not good for me, I just didn’t have enough energy to play again five long games… But that’s all part of the learning process.

I want to congratulate Marwan, he is a great player…

I’ll be back next year!

LOTS more in the Gallery



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