In the world of squash for juniors, the Dunlop British Junior Open (BJO) is considered the second most prestigious tournament after the World Junior Championships (WJC). Egyptian squash champions have just started the current year 2020 with remarkable victories, winning seven gold, five silver, and seven bronze medals in the BJO that began on the 2nd and ended on the 6th of January in Birmingham, England.
The tournament is divided into the following competitions: under 11 years, under 13 years, under 15 years, under 17 years, under 19 years, with each category subdivided into girls and boys games (GU11, BU11, GU13, BU13, GU15, BU15, GU17, BU17, GU19, and BU19).
GU19’s champion Egypt’s Jana Shiha:
In the GU19’s final match, Egypt’s Jana Shiha faced Malaysia’s Aifa Azman. The Egyptian player won the first two games 11-7 and 11-6. Malaysia’s player tried her best to win the third one; however, the Pharaoh did not give her the chance and won 16-14.
Expressing her joy, Jana commented: “It feels great, I have dreamt of winning this tournament since I was 10, I have played it 5 or 6 times and have never had the luck to win it and it is my last one!
“The whole tournament I played the first two games very well and in the third I kind of lose my pace, but I am happy it ended up in three games and there was a bit of action at the end with lots of decisions.”
Worth noting is that Jana was among the Egyptian team -which included Hania El-Hamamy, Sana Ibrahim, and Farida Mohamed- that won the competition of the girls’ team in the last edition of the WJC. Also, she was the runner-up of the individual girls’ completion in the WJC after she lost the final to her compatriot Hania 3-0 (11-9/11-6/11-8).
BU19’s champion Egypt’s Moustafa El Sirty:
The BU19’s final encounter was between Egyptians Moustafa El Sirty and Yahya Elnawasany. It ended 3-0 (11-8/11-5/11-7) in El Sirty’s favour, so Egypt obtained this category’s gold and silver medals. Smiling, El Sirty said: “It’s an awesome feeling! I have always dreamed of achieving this title so it’s a dream come true.”
2019 was a bright year for the Egyptian champion, who achieved several victories. El Sirty won the silver medal of the WJC’s boys individual after he was defeated by his fellow citizen Mostafa Asal 3-0 (12-10, 11-3, 11-6) in the final. He also claimed the titles of the CIB Port Said-Egyptian Tour 2, the CIB El Shams-Egyptian Tour 2, finished second in the QSF 3, the City of Greater Shepparton International, and the Steel City Squash Australian Open.
GU13’s gold medalist Amina Orfi:
Moving to the GU13 final, Egyptian Amina Orfi beat her Indian rival Anahat Singh 3-0 (11-0/ 11-1/11-4). “I’m feeling really happy because I’ve won the tournament three times in a row,” said Amina.
Other all-Egyptian finals:
The GU17’s last encounter was also an all-Egyptian final, so Egypt secured the first and second places. Sana Ibrahim played against her compatriot Nour Khaled Aboulmakarim and the former defeated the later 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 12-10).
“I’m so happy to win. Thanks to my mum and dad, my coaches and my sponsors. Thank you to every sports club in Birmingham,” said Sana.
Egypt also guaranteed the GU15’s gold and silver medals, given that the final took place between the Pharaohs Fayrouz Abouelkheir and Malak Taha. The first beat the second 3-0 (11-5/11-4/11-9).
In addition, Egyptians Youssef Salem and Ahmed Rashed played against each other in the BU13’s final that ended 3-1 in Youssef’s favour. As for the BU11’s final, Egyptian Yassin Kouritam defeated his compatriot Seif Belal El Shal 3-0 (11-9/11-6/11-7).
English, Malaysian, & Pakistani champions:
Regarding the tournaments’ other categories, England’s Sam Todd, Pakistan’s Muhammad Humza Khan, and Malaysia’s Harleein Tan won the BU17, the BU15, and the GU11, respectively.
“I feel so happy, thanks to all, my coaches, my parents, thanks to all coaches,” said Muhammad who also expressed “My dream is to be world champion.”
Egypt’s bronze medalists:
Egypt secured seven bronze medals thanks to the following players: Yassin Azouz, Maya Mandour, Eyad Hossam, Barb Sameh, Yassin Shohdy, Ahmed Aly, and Karim El Barbary.