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Friday September 6, 2013 MYT 4:41:00 PM
Friday September 6, 2013 MYT 4:43:10 PM
by kng zheng guan
Raneem El Weleily (left) and Tarek Momen after winning the women's and men's categories at last year's CIMB Malaysian Open.
PETALING JAYA: World No.1 Nicol David has two fights on her hands in the coming days, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision on squash’s inclusion looming, as well as the CIMB Malaysian Open from Sept 10-15.
With all of that on her mind, the seven-time world champion who regained her national title last week after defeating national No. 2 Low Wee Wern, can’t help but feel a pang of sympathy for her Egyptian peers.
Squash is a massive sport in Egypt, with numerous clubs and countless promising juniors rising through the ranks every year.
And it is unfortunate that Egypt, which boasts top men’s players like Ramy Ashour, Mohamed El Shorbagy, Karim Darwish and women’s players such as Raneem El Weleily, Nour El Sherbini and Omneya Abdel Kawy, is suffering from political turmoil which escalated to full-blown riots last month.
“It’s really disheartening to hear about what is going on in Egypt,” said Nicol.
“And it’s really tough for the players too because they have to go through all that, with their families there and still find a safe place to train.
“But what I really admire about the Egyptian players is their willingness to play ... nothing is going to stop them as they are that passionate.
“I’ve not had too much contact with them ... except for Shorbagy with whom I was travelling as World Squash Federation (WSF) ambassadors.
“The last I heard he is training in Qatar ... but they’re still giving their best just to be able to play squash.”
Nicol meanwhile added that it was a tough decision to make, skipping the WSF presentation to the IOC on Sunday in order to compete in the Malaysian Open.
“It is tough not being there, but the Malaysian Open is important too. We still have a good team there and squash has simply done so much in the past three to four years in the build-up to this campaign,” added Nicol.
Meanwhile, despite the trouble back home, Egypt will still have a strong presence in the Malaysian Open with defending champion Raneem leading the likes of Omneya, Nour El Tayeb and Heba El Torky.
In the men’s event, there will be eight Egyptians - defending champion Tarek Momen, top seed Karim Darwish, Omar Mosaad, Karim Abdel Gawad, Omar Abdel Aziz, Omar Abdel Meguid, Mazen Hesham and Zahed Mohamed.
Tags / Keywords:
squash, Malaysian Open, Nicol David, Egyptians, World Squash Federation, WSF, Olympics, 2020 Olympics, IOC, International Olympic Committee
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