The top two seeds Egypt and Malaysia will contest the final of the WSF Women’s World Junior Team Squash Championship in New Zealand after 2/0 victories in today’s semi-finals at the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre in Tauranga.
Whilst hot favourites Egypt are celebrating their eighth final in a row (see above) and bidding for a sixth successive title, second seeds Malaysia are back in the final for the first time since 2007 and for only the third time ever.
In the first semi, Egypt faced fourth seeds Hong Kong – the last team to beat them, in the 2005 final. It was another quick affair, Amina Yousry putting the side into the lead after beating Chan Sin Yuk 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 in just 17 minutes and world junior championship runner-up Hania El Hammamy sealing victory with an 11-4, 11-6, 11-1 victory over Malaysian Lui Hiu Lam.
El Hammamy (pictured below) is desperate to go one better than she did in the individuals. The 16-year-old was top seed but lost to team-mate Rowan Reda Araby in the final. It hurt then and it still hurts now.
“I was very disappointed to lose the final of the individuals,” El Hammamy said. “I didn’t perform the way I wanted to and it’s such a shame. But I have a chance to win the team event. I have to forget about the individuals and focus on the teams.
“We are so happy to be in the final,” she added. “It’s the first time for all of us to be in the team event, we’re excited and we want to win it.”
Malaysia beat former champions England 2/0 with Aifa Azman getting the better of Jasmine Hutton (see above) in first match. The 18-year-old from Sussex took the lead for the third seeds, but Azman recovered to take the next two games, both 12-10, before wrapping it up in the fourth.
Malaysia’s number one Sivasangari Subramaniam then made short work of Lucy Turmel, winning in straight games to the delight of herself (see below) and the Malaysian team, who will play their first final in ten years.
“We knew the first was going to be crucial,” said Malaysian coach Andrew Cross.
“Aifa was all over the shop mentally with the pressure, and Jasmine played well, she could and probably should have won, so we were happy to take that one. But Sivasangari was in dominant form.
“It’s going to be tough tomorrow, Egypt are obviously in good form and haven’t spent much time on court. There’s no pressure on us, but we’re probably looking at replaying two matches that both went against us in five in the individuals, so we’ll just see how it goes.”
Losing semi-finalists Hong Kong and England both win bronze medals.
In the 5/8 playoff semi-finals USA beat hosts New Zealand 2/0 and India beat Germany 2/0. In the 9/16 playoff semi-finals, Australia and Canada won through with 2/1 wins over South Africa and Korea, respectively, while France beat Ireland 2/1 for their first win, leaving the Irish in 14th place.
RESULTS: WSF World Junior Team Squash Championship, Tauranga, New Zealand
 EGYPT bt  HONG KONG CHINA 2/0
Amina Yousry bt Chan Sin Yuk 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 (17m)
Hania El Hammamy bt Lui Hiu Lam 11-4, 11-6, 11-1 (19m)
 MALAYSIA bt  ENGLAND 2/0
Aifa Azman bt Jasmine Hutton 6-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-6 (43m)
Sivasangari Subramaniam bt Lucy Turmel 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 (31m)
5th – 8th place play-offs:
 INDIA bt  GERMANY 2/0
Aishwarya Bhattacharya bt Alice Kramer 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (17m)
Akanksha Salunkhe bt Saskia Beinhard 11-5, 11-6, 5-11, 11-2 (21m)
 USA bt  NEW ZEALAND 2/0
Laila Sedky bt Camden Te Kani-McQueen 11-7, 15-13, 11-8 (29m)
Marina Stefanoni bt Kaitlyn Watts 11-9, 12-10, 11-8 (31m)
9th – 12th place play-offs:
 AUSTRALIA bt  SOUTH AFRICA 2/1
Shehana Vithana bt Helena Coetzee 7-11, 11-4, 7-11, 11-4, 17-15 (42m)
Lauren Aspinall lost to Faith Panashe Sithole 8-11, 9-11, 7-11 (24m)
Alexandra Haydon bt Jennifer Preece 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (24m)
 CANADA bt  REPUBLIC OF KOREA 2/1
Charlotte Orcutt bt Chae Won Song 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 (16m)
Emma Jinks bt Hyoju Seo 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7 (35m)
Nicole Kendall lost to Dong Ju Song 12-14, 11-4, 4-11 (20m)
13th place play-off:
 FRANCE bt  IRELAND 2/1
Chloé Mourier bt Lily Lloyd 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 (20m)
Fanny Segers lost to Laura Neill 12-14, 5-11, 7-11 (22m)
Lauriane Maingot bt Ellie McVeigh 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (36m)
DRAWS FOR THE FINAL ROUND:
 EGYPT v  MALAYSIA
5th place play-off:
 INDIA v  USA
7th place play-off:
 NEW ZEALAND v  GERMANY
9th place play-off:
 CANADA v  AUSTRALIA
11th place play-off:
 SOUTH AFRICA v  REPUBLIC OF KOREA
For all the latest info, including live streaming, visit www.wsfworldjuniors.com/
World Junior Championship images courtesy of www.squashsite.com