• Wadi Degla Women's World Squash Championship • 13-20 Dec 2014 • Cairo •  

Women's Worlds EN BREF
All you never knew you need to know about the Worlds in Cairo

The Last Day....

Final day. Emotion Day.

We had to arrive early as we knew that some important people – the Minister of Sport in particular – were coming and that the seats were hot hot hot!

Mind, I had a seat reserved from the first day on my favourite spot, left side.

Makes your life easier, and your work better. You don’t have to worry about coming back to it after writing each report, you have the same angle to analyse the match, and you can get in and out of there without disturbing anybody. Basic stuff
at first sight, but makes a HUGE difference.

Merci Karim for giving me Carte Blanche, and Bassam, Ghada and Al-Shrkawy to organise it.

The 'Before Moment'

Still, we were there early. And from 4.00, basically 98% of the seats were full! At 4.30, we had a great initiative. It was decided that the trophy – that we nearly never saw again – was going to be brought to the crowd by those who had been working very hard in the shadows to make this event the success it was, the Team that surrounded Karim and Engy all this week.

It was the first very touching/emotional moment of the day. Many more were to come… And maybe an example to follow: rewarding the
volunteers by giving them a piece of recognition just before the final is one of the best ideas this tournament had.

Then the Fireworks Moment

Ok, if in El Gouna we had the fireworks/fire at the end of the final, here, we had it just before.

And to be honest, I thought the Tent would not survive, neither would Lee Beachill, Tommy Berden, Alison Waters and Laura Massaro, who were sitting right next to one of the fire makers!

But it was went sparkingly ... literally!!!!

Then the Engy’s moment.

Since Qatar, Engy (with the complicity of Wadi Degla Mr Big, Maged Samy) had been working with former PSA Technical Director Robert Edwards – now retired, but still presenting Qatar’s tournaments - and Nathan Clarke, PSA PR, for an end of career Tribute to Karim Darwish , with video contributions from Nick, Greg, Shorbagy and Ramy. I was hoping to be able to present it to you, but technical troubles mean that we can only put it online after the 2nd January.

We had to be put in the confidence, as a lot of photos were ours (yes, even one of mine!). The trouble/ stress Engy went through to organise it all – choosing each and every photo for the tribute, getting Robert and Lee into the country to another hotel without anybody being aware of it, planning the viewing of the video, advancing the time of the final, and all the details. So much stress with all the rest of the week, she ended up with absolutely no voice on the last day, bless her lovely soul…

Karim didn’t suspect a thing. He was gobsmacked, truly. I suspect it’s one of the proudest moments of his life.

And then, the Final Moment  (TODAY)

And the final started. Chanting. Goosepumps, Emotions, tears, hearts broken, others exploding with Pure Joy.

Like in Qatar where mon petit Shorbagy went one point away from getting his first World title, ma petite Raneem was also one point away from Ecstasy, four times .... And like in Qatar, I personally couldn’t win/couldn’t lose.

One of those matches I
'll remember all my life, where once again, I vibrated in my whole body with the winner, that little mini Champion Nicol David I saw sobbing after her 8th win as she did in Hong Kong after her first, all those years ago - that day where her parents were soooo emotional they found themselves in Macao instead of coming back to Hong Kong - then felt each of Raneem’s tears as if they were rolling down my face.          

Incredibly powerful, disturbing and amazing. Merci à vous deux.

Backstage, things were not going that smoothly. The SquashSite server having been down for more than 36hours, Cubs was already not in the best of moods, but when some clever bugger stole our modem between the 4th and 5th game, he basically self-destructed…
While he was taking the trophy ceremony pics, Laurent from SquashTV saved the day by giving us his own code/network. As least, I was able to tweet the result and two quotes.

By then
Ahmad Bassam, our IT wizard, had found another modem, and installed it. So when Cubs came back, he had internet. Unfortunately it was “slightly snail mode”, and for 20m, unable to update anything, he cursed, and nagged, and ranted, until I cracked up and just kicked him out of the desk!!!!

That was the best idea ever, as he came back with stunning pics from the Raneem Support Group. Once again, from bad comes good…

Meanwhile, the hotel Holiday
Inn had prepared a cake to celebrate Nicol’s victory, and the whole of the evening staff made sure they welcomed the eight-time champion with all the admiration rightly due.

But I guess it was the welcome that Nicol-Awy got the next day from her parents, friends and admirers back home in Penang that must have put the icing on the '8th World Title Cake' most beautifully.

The End

Tamer Mamdouh – my PA, saviour of Trophy
, SquashTV cameras, plus tourism guide – told me when he picked me up from the airport “Karim and Engy want you to have the best week ever”. Mission accomplished people.

Merci à tous. Just an amazing week. Que du Bonheur.

The SquashSite Team, signing off 2014. Bring on 2015!!!!!


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