World Jr. Squash Championship: Egypt, England seal final berths

Egypt overcame Czech Republic, while England beat USA to book their places in the final.

James Wyatt (right) of England in action against USA's Thomas Rosini in the semifinals of the team event in the World Junior Squash Championship.   -  S. R. Raghunathan

Egypt and England will be looking to get their hands on a sixth World Squash Junior men’s team title in the final on Sunday. Egypt beat Czech Republic and England beat USA in their respective semifinal clashes.

Having won five titles each, it’ll be a race to become the most successful nation in the tournament. England has won three of its last four meetings in the final with Egypt. But while the last time England reached the final was in 2002, Egypt has played the summit clash in the past seven editions, winning four of them.

The odds are stacked against England as it takes on a team which hasn’t lost a single game so far in the tournament, but the third seed looks confident. “We’ve had a very open tournament so far where anything can happen. There have been a lot of upsets,” said England Coach Lee Drew. “We’ve got nothing to lose. We’ll be going into the match as the underdogs. But we’ll be looking to make it really hard for Egypt, getting our best performance out. If you do that, you never know what could happen”, he said.

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The boys from England will come up against a team whose players occupy the top five seeds in the individual event. “Egypt will be really confident going into the game. They won’t be worried. But our boys have been very relaxed throughout the tournament. Their team spirit and attitude has pulled us through,” said Drew, who believes his players won’t be too nervous. Since 2002, England has missed out on the finals in almost every edition of the tournament, going out in the semis.

In Egypt’s semifinal clash against Czech Republic, there were no surprises as the No. 1 seed produced another dominant performance to win 3-0.

Czech Republic had been the dark horse in the tournament. Playing in only its second World Juniors, it reached the semifinals. The last time Czech Republic played the tournament was in 2008 where it finished 19th.

Marwan Tarek defeated Czech Republic’s No. 1 Viktor Byrtus quite easily. Only the first game that ended 11-8 resembled a contest as Marwan took the next two games 11-5 and 11-4. Egypt’s No. 1 Mostafa Asal sent Egypt through to the finals with a 11-8 11-9 11-2 win over Ondrej Vorlicek. The teams decided to play a third match. In the dead rubber too, Egypt managed to win in straight games.

With a 3-0 scoreline, England’s win against USA was pretty straightforward. USA had come into the match full of confidence after a dramatic quarterfinal victory over Canada, but it was no match for England. It didn’t concede a game in the course of the match.

England No. 1 Nicholas Wall did half the job as he defeated USA’s No. 1 Daelum Mawji in three games. James Wyatt then sealed victory for England with a 11-4, 11-8,11-7 victory over Thomas Rosini, who was USA’s saviour against Canada. In a dead rubber match, USA’s Ayush Menon took the lead but Samuel Todd won the next two games to complete a rout of USA.

Results

1-Egypt bt 6-Czech Republic 3-0 (Marwan Tarek bt Viktor Byrtus 11-8, 11-5, 11-4; Mostafa Asal bt Ondrej Vorlicek 11-8, 11-4, 11-2; Omar El Torkey bt Marek Panacek 11-3, 11-7). 3-England bt 8-USA 3-0 (Nicholas Wall bt Daelum Mawji 11-5, 11-8, 11-5; James Wyatt bt Thomas Rosini 11-4, 11-8, 11-7; Sam Todd bt Ayush Menon 5-11, 11-3, 11-2).