Whilst the women’s last four line-up will be all-Egyptian for the second year in a row, the semi-finalists in the Men’s WSF World Junior Squash Championship will represent four different nations for the first time in 14 years after an eventful quarter-final day in the World Squash Federation event at the Wanderers Sports Club in the Namibia capitalWindhoek.
Top seed Nour El Sherbini brushed aside England’s Lily Taylor 11-2, 11-3, 11-3 in just 18 minutes to reach the women’s semi-finals for an unprecedented sixth year in a row!
“I am quite happy I made it to the semi-finals of the competition and the fact that I have improved with each game has given me more confidence to face the next opponent,” said the 18-year-old from Alexandria (pictured above, left, in action with Taylor) who is bidding to win an historic fourth title.
“The competition normally gets tougher through the rounds, but I’m ready and so far I’m really glad that I have made it thus far.”
El Sherbini will now face surprise opponent Habiba Mohamed, a 5/8 seed who outplayed fellow Egyptian Salma Hany Ibrahim, a 3/4 seed, 12-10, 11-3, 11-5.
The other women’s match is the semi predicted by the draw: Second seed Nouran Gohar battled for 31 minutes to overcome US hope Sabrina Sobhy and will now face 3/4 seed Mariam Metwally.
Last year’s runner-up ended English interest in the 2014 championship when she beat Georgina Kennedy, a 9/12 seed, 11-7, 11-2, 11-9.
Men’s top seed Diego Elias is also aiming for a championship record – to become the first Peruvian to win the title. The 17-year-old from Lima despatched Egyptian Mohamed Elgawarhy 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 to earn his first appearance in the event’s last four.
“I’m happy with my progress so far,” said Elias (pictured above, left, in action with Elgawarhy) later. “I know it’s going to get tougher, but I am in good shape and hope to make it to the final.”
When asked about his prospects in the next round, Elias added: “There is no player here that can be written-off. The best thing is to be prepared for anything as one never knows how it will turn out in the end. But for now, I will take it one game at a time.”
Elias will now face Kush Kumar, the first Indian ever to make the world junior semi-finals. The Indian Squash Academy trainee from Chennai, a 3/4 seed, beat England’s George Parker 11-6, 11-8, 11-8.
The other men’s semi will be a surprise Pakistan/Egypt affair. Egyptian Omar Elatmas pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the day when he recovered from two games down to beat Pakistan’s 3/4 seed Tayyab Aslam 7-11, 12-14, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 in an 111-minute marathon.
18-year-old Etmas will take on Pakistan’s Syed Ali Bokhari after the 9/12 seed also came through a five-game marathon when he defeated Egypt’s Youssef Soliman, a 13/16 seed, 11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 in 79 minutes.
RESULTS: WSF World Junior Squash Championships, Windhoek, Namibia
 Diego Elias (PER) bt [5/8] Mohamed Elgawarhy (EGY) 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (36m)
[3/4] Kush Kumar (IND) bt [5/8] George Parker (ENG) 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (40m)
[9/12] Omar Elatmas (EGY) bt [3/4] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 7-11, 12-14, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 (111m)
[9/12] Syed Ali Bokhari (PAK) bt [13/16] Youssef Soliman (EGY) 11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 (79m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [9/12] Lily Taylor (ENG) 11-2, 11-3, 11-3 (18m)
[5/8] Habiba Mohamed (EGY) bt [3/4] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) 12-10, 11-3, 11-5 (38m)
[3/4] Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt [9/12] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) 11-7, 11-2, 11-9 (24m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [5/8] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 11-9, 11-4, 11-8 (31m