World Jr Squash C'ships: 'Lucky' USA shocks Canada to enter semis

An injury to Julien Gossete when he was just a point away from clinching the tie for his country put paid to Canada's hopes of reaching the semifinal.

Thomas Rosini (USA) plays against George Crowne (Canada) at the WSF Men's world Junior Team Championship in Chennai on Friday.   -  S. R. Raghunathan

An unfortunate incident turned the tie around for Canada, as it lost to USA in the quarterfinals of the men’s event of the World Junior Squash Championship at the Indian Squash Academy today. Julien Gosette’s injury, while he was on match ball, proved to be the beginning of the end for second seed Canada.

Canada’s No. 1, Julien Gosette, was expected to secure the tie with a win over USA’s Dealum Mawji after James Flynn had rallied from two games down to beat USA’s Tiber Worth 8-11, 8-11, 11-2, 11-2, 11-6 and put the second seeded Canadians in the lead.

Gosette looked set to meet those expectations as well, winning the first two games 11-8, 11-5, but Daelum got one back with a 11-6 win in the third game. In the fourth game, Julien cruised to an 8-1 lead. At 10-8, he was on his third match ball when he pulled his hamstring as he stretched to retrieve a ball at the back of the court. Julien was back on court with a bandage around his thighs. With his drastically limited movements, he tried to win that one point that could have sealed it for Canada. But after losing three points, he decided to retire from the match, giving Daelum the win.

In the decider, George Crown won the first game against Thomas Rosini, giving Canada the lead. But a charged Thomas came back in the second and third games to win 11-1, 11-5. George took the fourth game to 10-10, but USA nudged ahead to complete a dramatic win.

Semifinal fixtures:
  • Egypt vs Czech Republic
  • England vs USA

 

An ecstatic USA went through a range of emotions after the game. “This is never how we want to win. It’s unfortunate for Canada and I told my boys to say sorry to them. It’s not over until it’s over and our boys grinded it out there. I wouldn’t say we were lucky, they were unlucky,” said USA coach Alex Stait.

Canada, though, felt the players were hard done by. “It was a tough loss. We went through some emotions there. Our number three guy couldn’t do it. I think USA got lucky,” said Canada coach Jonathan Hill.

USA will face England in the semifinal Saturday at the Express Avenue mall.

No. 1 seed Egypt continued its flawless run in the tournament with a 3-0 defeat of Hong Kong in the quarterfinals. Hong Kong had pulled off wins against higher seeded USA and Colombia, but was halted by an Egyptian team that was yet to lose a game in the tournament so far.

Mostafa Asal and Marwan Tarek of Egypt secured 3-0 wins against Hong Kong’s Chan Chi Ho and Chung Yat Long, respectively. In a  dead rubber, Mostafa El-Serty defeated To Wai Lok 2-0.

In only its second appearance in the tournament, Czech Republic made it to the semifinals after winning 2-0 against fourth seed Malaysia. The Czechs finished 19th in their previous appearance in 2008.

Ondrej Vorlicek defeated Siow Yee Xian in four games in the first match. Viktor Byrtus sealed the tie for Czech Republic with a surprise win over Malaysia’s Darren Rahul Pragasam, who was seeded 5th in the individual tournament.

The next test, however, will be the hardest for Czech Republic as it faces an unbreakable Egypt in a semifinal clash on Saturday at the Express Avenue mall.

With a 2-1 win over defending champion Pakistan, England booked a place in the semifinal.

James Wyatt won the first match against Muhammad Uzair which went to five games. England’s No. 1, Nicolas Wall, sealed victory for England with a win over Pakistan’s Abbas Zeb in four games. Pakistan got a consolation win in the dead rubber match, as Haris Qasim defeated Samuel Todd 2-1.

Results (Quarterfinals)

Egypt[1] bt Hong Kong, China[9] 3-0

(Mostafa Asal bt Chan Chi Ho 11-3 11-9 11-5; Marwan Tarek bt Chung Yat Long 11-7 11-4 11-6; Mostafa El Serty bt To Wai Lok 11-5 11-9);

Czech Republic (6) bt Malaysia (4) 2-0

(Ondrej Vorlicek bt Siow Yee Xian 11-4, 12-10, 6-11, 11-2; Viktor Byrtus bt Darren Rahul Pragasam 10-12, 11-9, 11-1, 11-6; Marek Panacek v Duncan Yung Yii Lee (not played);

England (3) bt Pakistan (11) 2-0

(James Wyatt bt Muhammad Uzair 8-11, 11-2, 11-2, 8-11,11-2; Nicholas Wall bt Abbas Zeb 11-9, 11-6, 7-11,11-6; Samuel Todd lost to Haris Qasis 10-12, 9-11, 9-11 );

USA(8) bt Canada (2) 2-1

Tiber worth loses to James Flynn 11-8, 11-8, 2-11, 6-11, 6-11; Daelum Mawji bt Julien Gosset 8-11, 5-11, 11-10 retd; Thomas Rosini bt George Crowne 11-9,1-11, 11-5, 12-10)