PETALING JAYA: Habiba Mohamed became Egypt’s new squash darling after completing a hat-trick of upsets to win her first World Junior Championship title.
The 15-year-old Habiba who had defeated compatriots - joint third-fourth seed Salma Hany in the quarter-finals, and three-time champion Nour El Sherbini in the semi-finals - was imperious as she fought back to stun second seed Nouran Gouhar in the final.
The towering Habiba who hails from Alexandria barely overcame a jittery start as she dished out an impressive 6-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-6 win in 44 minutes.
It was the perfect feather in the cap for Habiba who already holds the record as the youngest Women’s Squash Association (WSA) Tour winner when she won the Malaysian Tour Squash Circuit (SSJM) Grand Finals last November.
“I was happy to beat Nour in the semi-finals and now to win the title is an even greater reward. I’m thankful for that and now I’m looking forward to my next tournament in Malaysia,” said Habiba who will compete in the qualifying round of the CIMB Malaysian Open which starts on Sunday at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.
In the boys’ final, Diego Elias capped an end to a brilliant week after handing out a thrashing to Egypt’s Omar El Atmas.
The 11-3, 11-2, 11-1 win also means that the world No.93 Elias also became the first player from Peru to be crowned world champion in squash.
“This is a wonderful victory and I am going to celebrate in style. Omar fought hard and tried his best but I was focused on doing the basics right,” said the 17-year-old Elias.