FROM CAIRO TO CANARY WHARF,
OMAR IS A LONG-DISTANCE COMMUTER
11 POINTS WITH OMAR MOSAAD
By ALAN THATCHER
many people commute from Cairo to Devon. But that’s what world
No.12 Omar Mosaad does on a regular basis to play for Exeter
Diamonds in the English Premier Squash League. The 6ft 4in tall
Mosaad is known as the Hammer of Thor, mixing a hard-hitting
style with typically deft Egyptian touch at the front of the
1: Omar, this is your first appearance in the Canary Wharf
Classic and we are all looking forward to seeing you play. What
have you heard about the tournament from other players?
Yes, it's my first time to be playing at Canary Wharf this year.
I have heard so much about this tournament. It's a good place
with an amazing atmosphere, and big crowds every day makes it
seem like the Tournament of Champions in New York.
That's why I come this time to play in such a big tournament
like this, although you can find top seeded players such as Nick
Mathew, James Willstrop, Gregory Gaultier, Amr Shabana and so
many good and talented players too.
This is our 11th year of the tournament and we are still waiting
for our first Egyptian champion. With you and Karim Darwish in
the draw, maybe this could be the year?
As you know squash is a very tough game. You need so many
skills, like being strong mentally and physically, good hands,
and you can find so many great players like Nick, James and
They have good talents inside the court and the difference
between the players is not much at this level, so I think anyone
inside the top eight in this tournament can win it. A lot
depends on attitude in these days.
I hope it can do it and be the first Egyptian to win Canary
3: Please tell us about the Heliopolis Club and squash
scene back home in Egypt.
About my club, it's the big club in Cairo he has two branches in
We have got 15 courts and we are champions of the league for the
past five years. My team is Ramy Ashour, me, Mohamed Ali Reda
,Karim Hamami, the world champion under 19 champion, Nour Tayeb
and Yathreb Adel.
4: Who do you train with most of the time?
Well I am usually training with Amr Shabana and Karim Darwish
because they are living to close to my place
5: How much has squash been affected by the political
problems in Egypt?
In the last few years, we had many problems in the squash in
Egypt finding sponsors for the tournaments such as the Rotary
Heliopolis, the Sky Open and El Gouna, but we are grateful that
the El Gouna is going to take place this year, which is good for
tourism in my opinion.
Do you have a European base?
No, not yet. Maybe soon.
7: You are a very popular player with the Exeter team in
the PSL. I know they always pack the club out for home matches.
Please share some of the fun stories from playing with that
The people in Exeter club are very friendly and cheerful. We are
lucky that we are supported by really nice guy called Keith
White. Adam Lings is the manager of my team.
We have a very good team there with LJ Anjema, Olli Tuominen,
Joey Barrington, Tim Vail, Ashling Blake, Tory Temple Murray and
I think we did a good job until now. This week we lost a close
match 3-2 to Surrey Health and Rackets but I was very pleased to
beat Peter Barker.
8: What's the quickest way for you to get from Cairo to
Fly from Cairo to London and then London to Exeter by car. Last
time I was there in Exeter I arrived in the morning to Heathrow
Airport and was then driven to Exeter. I played my match and
then travelled back to Cairo next day. It took less than two
days for this trip. It's very funny to travel from Cairo to
London and back the next day.
The best part of the journey is the fact that Keith meets me at
Heathrow and drives me to Exeter in his lovely Jaguar. It's a
really nice car with massage seats. I asked him if I could have
it after I retire from squash!
Your first round opponent at Canary Wharf is another Egyptian,
Karim Abdel Gawad. What kind of player is Karim?
It will be a good match. Karim is a very talented player. He has
had some good results in the last year but I hope to keep my
winning record against him in this tournament too
10: You are just outside the world top 10 at the moment.
Having been as high as No.8 in 2012, what do you need to do to
get back up there?
Yes I have a problem knee last year. That's why I couldn't do
well and keep my ranking but now I am OK and feel more confident
and I hope I can do well in this tournament
11: Any special plans while you are in London,
sightseeing, for example? Finding some Egyptian restaurants?
Yeah, chilling out with my friends in Oxford Street, then some
sushi or Thai food.
Thanks Omar. We are all looking forward to seeing The
Hammer in action tonight.