Wednesday, 20 August 2014 | MYT 7:09 PM
Egyptian upstarts makes Raneem feel older
From left) Omneya Abdel Kawy, Nour El Sherbini and Raneem El Welily led the Egyptian charge at the 29th Women's World Squash Championship in Penang in March. - File pic
KUALA LUMPUR: The emergence of Egyptian squash players at a tremendously fast rate has world No.3 Raneem El Weleily feeling a little “old” despite being only 25-years-old.
In fact, Raneem is already the second oldest Egyptian player that is active on the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) Tour.
Only world No.12 Omneya Abdel Kawy, at 29, is older than her.
The likes of Habiba Mohamed at 15-years-old is already making heads turn with some exceptional performances while the likes world No.8 Nour El Sherbini and world No.29 Nouran Gouhar are still just 18 and 16-years-old respectively.
The ever-smiling Raneem however believes that all the young players keep her focus and on her toes at all time.
“I certainly feel old... especially when you’re comparing me to these girls. It just feel like so long ago when I was their age,” said Raneem with a big smile.
“But it’s good. These girls are coming up fast and I really have to be aware at all times in order to stay ahead and not let them catch up. They’re really good and I think they are doing okay on the WSA Tour.
“If I had any advice for them, I would tell them to smile more and always be nice on court.”
Meanwhile Raneem who won the CIMB Malaysian Open in 2012 is happy with the way she has been playing in this year’s tournament.
The Cairo-based Raneem defeated Wales’ Tesni Evans in four sets in the first round on Tuesday and on Wednesday, eased past Hong Kong’s Joey Chan 11-2, 11-9, 11-8 to book a spot in the quarter-finals.
“I’m happy with the results but I’m not really happy with the way I’m playing.
“The results are good for me but I just don’t like how my head stops thinking in between matches. It’s something I need to work on.”