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Egypt Retain Arab Games Titles

Egypt retained the men’s and women’s squash titles in the Arab Games after first-time triumphs by Tarek Momen andRaneem El Weleily in the 2011 championships’ finals at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in the Qatar capital Doha.

Top seeds Momen, the men’s world No20 from Cairo, and El Weleily, the women’s world No7 from Alexandria, led strong fields featuring players from Qatar, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.

The favourites were keen to retain the titles won by compatriots Amr Shabana and Engy Kheirallah in the 2007 Arab Games in Egypt.

After overcoming Kuwaiti Abdullah Al Muzayen - also a semi-finalist in 2007 – in four games, Momen lined up against fellow countryman Karim Abdel Gawad in the men’s final.

Alexandria-born Gawad, the 20-year-old second seed, took a 2/1 lead – but the more experienced 23-year-old Momen regained control to close out the match 11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4 to claim the gold medal.

El Weleily also faced a second-seeded compatriot in the women’s final – and Omneya Abdel Kawy also established an early lead.

But it was to be a silver medal for the second time in a row for the former world No8 from Cairo as the in-form El Weleily marched on to gold medal success, winning 7-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-6.

“Current Egyptian domination of the Arab Games squash is a given,” commented World Squash Federation CEO Andrew Shelley. “But with the improvements from other competing nations – and the participation of Iraqi players, for example – the breadth and depth in the region is growing too.

“These Games, like all the other major multi-sport events in which squash takes part, are pinnacles for all players until we achieve a place in the one that transcends them all, the Olympic Games.”

The quadrennial Arab Games were first played in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1953.

Arab Games Squash Championships, Doha, Qatar

Men’s quarter-finals
[1] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 13-11, 11-5, 11-6
[3/4] Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) bt Rasool Hashim Abdullah (IRQ) 11-4, 11-8, 11-5
Ali Bader Al-Ramzi (KUW) bt [3/4] Ahmad Alzabidi (JOR) 11-7, 11-8, 11-6
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Ahmad Al-Saraj (JOR) 12-10, 11-5, 11-3
Semi-finals:
[1] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [3/4] Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-2 (40m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Ali Bader Al-Ramzi (KUW) 11-8, 11-2, 11-7 (21m)
Final:
[1] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4

Women’s quarter-finals:
[1] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt Ghufran Ayoob (IRQ) 11-5, 11-5, 11-3 (18m)
Aisha Al-Hamad (KUW) bt Rand Alsa’AD (JOR) 11-4, 11-8, 11-3 (16m)
Mariam Dashti (KUW) bt Rana Janabi (IRQ) 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (17m)
[2] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Shahd Najada (JOR) 11-2, 11-3, 11-7 (22m)
Semi-finals:
[1] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt Aisha Al-Hamad (KUW) 11-2, 11-2, 11-2 (17m)
[2] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Mariam Dashti (KUW) 11-2, 11-0, 11-3 (16m)
Final:
[1] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [2] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 7-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-6

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