For a remarkable fifth successive year, five Egyptians will line up in the women’s quarter-finals of the WSF World Junior Individual Squash Championships after Habiba Mohamed, Nouran Gohar, Mariam Metwally, Hania El Hammamy and Salma Hany Ibrahim (as pictured below) came through contrasting fourth round clashes in the World Squash Federation championships at the Squashtime Centre in Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, Pakistan celebrated its best representation in the men’s event since 2006 with three players achieving quarter-finals berths after second seed Tayyab Aslam and Israr Ahmed claimed their anticipated places, joined by unseeded compatriot Asim Khan.
18-year-old Mariam Metwally is making her final appearance in the women’s championship – but marked her fifth successive appearance in the quarter-finals after surviving the longest match of the championship to date. A 3/4 seed, the world No.37 from Alexandria overcame USA’s Reeham Sedky, the reigning US Junior Open champion, 11-13, 18-16, 11-8, 11-7 in 81 minutes – saving two game-balls in a marathon second game to avoid going two games down.
“I started the match feeling really calm and focused, but halfway through the first I started putting so much pressure on myself, I was so nervous and couldn’t do anything,” Metwally told the event website www.wsfworldjuniors.com later. “She was attacking everything and me, all my dropshots were strokes or tins!
“I was aware of all the Americans in the crowd and it was getting really tough. I told myself I couldn’t afford to lose the second game – if I had I would have been going home – but thankfully I just managed to take it and it worked out from there.
“Hopefully I’ll be more composed and play my game consistently tomorrow.”
16-year-old Habiba Mohamed, the defending champion and top seed with a record four titles in her sights, saw off a spirited challenge from Colombian Laura Tovar, but second seed Nouran Gohar dropped her first game of the tournament as she beat New Zealand’s Eleanor Epke.
Salma Hany Ibrahim was taken the full distance and had to fight back in the decider to get past compatriot Mayar Hany 4-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-6, 11-8 in 65 minutes.
“That was so tough, she was playing so well,” admitted the 3/4 seed from Alexandria. “I was 2/1 down and 4-0 down – I’m just so relieved I was able to pull myself together in the fifth to get through.”
Choi Uen Shan became the lowest-seeded player to make the last eight – and the first Hong Kong player to reach the quarter-finals since 2007 – when she stopped US giant-killer Kayley Leonard 12-10, 5-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9 in 45 minutes. Unseeded Leonard had upset top Belgian junior Tinne Gilis, a 5/8 seed, in the second round.
Favourite Diego Elias cruised into the men’s quarter-finals after despatching unheralded US opponent Timothy Brownell (both pictured above) 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 in 27 minutes. The Peruvian star, aiming for a second title in a row, will now take on Pakistani Israr Ahmed.
Lahore-based Asim Khan became the only unseeded player to make the last eight after ending the run of EnglishmanCharlie Lee, the 17-year-old who caused the event’s earliest upset by ousting 3/4 seed Amr Arafa.
Khan’s ‘s 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 victory over Lee sees the 18-year-old world No.171 face rising Malaysian star Eain Yow Ng. The 5/8 seed from Kuala Lumpur needed all five games to get past Jordan’s Mohammad Alsarraj, a 9/16 seed, 11-6, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 11-6 in 61 minutes.
“I’m so relieved to win that,” said world No.160 Ng. “It was much harder than I wanted when I was leading 2/0 and 10-8! I lost a bit of focus. He came back well, he had a five-setter this morning and not much rest, he did everything he could.
“In last year’s worlds I was leading 2/0 and lost in five so that was in my mind, I didn’t want that to happen again so I’m glad I managed to take that fifth.”
18-year-old Tayyab Aslam, the only player marking a fourth successive appearance in the men’s event, reached the last eight for the second year in a row after beating Ryunosuke Tsukue, the unseeded 17-year-old from Yokohama who had become the first Japanese player ever to make the men’s last 16 round.
The 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 victory leads Aslam (pictured above with Tsukue) to face Egypt’s Saadeldin Abouaish for a place in the semi-finals. The 5/8 seed beat Finland’s Miko Äijänen 11-7, 11-6, 12-10.
Men’s Fourth Round:
 Diego Elias (PER) bt Timothy Brownell (USA) 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 (27m)
[5/8] Israr Ahmed (PAK) bt [9/16] Youssef Ibrahim Abdallah (EGY) 1-11, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4 (73m)
[5/8] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt [9/16] Mohammad Alsarraj (JOR) 11-6, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 11-6 (61m)
Asim Khan (PAK) bt Charlie Lee (ENG) 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 (38m)
[3/4] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Balázs Farkas (HUN) 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (37m)
[5/8] Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Sam Ejtemai (AUS) 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (51m)
[5/8] Saadeldin Abouaish (EGY) bt Miko Äijänen (FIN) 11-7, 11-6, 12-10 (34m)
 Tayyab Aslam (PAK) bt Ryunosuke Tsukue (JPN) 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 (27m)
Women’s Fourth Round:
 Habiba Mohamed (EGY) bt Laura Tovar (COL) 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (26m)
[5/8] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [9/16] Lucy Beecroft (ENG) 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (28m)
[5/8] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt [9/16] Amelia Henley (ENG) 11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 11-2 (30m)
[3/4] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt [9/16] Mayar Hany (EGY) 4-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-6, 11-8 (65m)
[3/4] Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt [9/16] Reeham Sedky (USA) 11-13, 18-16, 11-8, 11-7 (81m)
[5/8] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 11-7, 11-9, 11-7 (22m)
[9/16] Choi Uen Shan (HKG) bt Kayley Leonard (USA) 12-10, 5-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9 (45m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [9/16] Eleanor Epke (NZL) 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6 (35m)
Official event website: wsfworldjuniors.com/
World Junior Championships’ photos by SquashSite