ISLAMABAD- Pakistan and Egypt will line up in the final of the WSF Men’s World Junior Team Squash Championship for the sixth time in a row after the event’s top two seeds survived testing semi-finals in the biennial championship being staged at the Wanderers Sports Club in the Namibia capital Windhoek.
Both teams are poised to claim a record-equaling fifth title-favourites Egypt bidding to become the first nation since England in 2000 to win three titles in a row.
Egypt beat Spain 2-0, but were stretched to the limit by the sixth seeds who were making their first ever appearance in the event’s semi-finals. Top string Omar Elatmas put the defending champions ahead with a 10-12, 12-10, 11-4, 11-5 victory over Edmon Lopez Moller. Egypt’s No 3 Karim El Hammamy then grinded out a 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6 win in 85 minutes against the determined Bernat Jaume in a match which was suspended for about 15 minutes after the Spaniard sustained a cut below his right knee.
Earlier, 2008 champions Pakistan ended Malaysia’s impressive run in the championship, beating the fifth seeds 2-0. The Malaysian team upset third seeds England in the previous round, denying the four-time champions a place in the last four for the first time in the 34-year history of the championship.
Pakistan No 1 Tayyab Aslam led the way with an 11-5, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8 win over Mohd Syafiq Kamal before third string Muhammad Asim Khan wrapped up his country’s tenth appearance in the final by defeating Darren Chan 11-5, 11-7, 11-9.
“It’s going to be a tough final against Egypt,” said Pakistani official Gogi Alauddin. “But I am looking forward to it as I know that my boys have hearts and can handle the pressure,” added the former world No3.
Pakistan beat Malaysia 2-0. Tayyab Aslam beat Mohd Syafiq Kamal 11-5, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8 (48m); M Asim Khan beat Darren Chan 11-5, 11-7, 11-9 (45m).
Egypt beat Spain 2-0. Omar Elatmas beat Edmon Lopez Moller 10-12, 12-10, 11-4, 11-5 (68m); Karim El Hammamy beat Bernat Jaume 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6 (85m).