Instant Update #27

Issue 27, July / August 201o (pdf version)

Sobhy Soars To World Title Success

Amanda Sobhy celebrated the perfect 17th birthday by beating Egyptian rival Nour El Tayeb in the final of the Women’s World Junior Squash Championship to become the first US winner of the prestigious World Squash Federation event in its 16th year at the ACR Sportcenter in Cologne, Germany.

“It’s the best birthday present anyone  could ever ask for,” said the New York teenager after recovering from a game down to defeat fellow 17-year-old El Tayeb 3-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 in 37 minutes. It was Sobhy’s first victory over the Egyptian in four meetings on the junior international circuit since January 2008.

The victory not only ends Egypt’s seven-year stranglehold on the title since 2003, but also consigned Cairo-based El Tayeb to a runner-up finish for the second year in a row.

Third seed Sobhy made her breakthrough in the semi-finals when she beat reigning champion Nour El Sherbini, the 14-year-old favourite who won the title last year to become the sport’s youngest ever world champion.

Sobhy, whose success makes her the first US player to  win a world singles title, is no stranger to historic
achievements in the sport: In May, the left-hander became the first 16-year-old to win four WISPA World Tour titles – an achievement which has taken her to a career-high 36 world ranking.

In the bronze medal play-off match, India’s No2 seed Dipika Pallikal made up for the disappointment of failing to make the final for the second successive year by battling to a 4-11, 11-4, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 over favourite Nour El Sherbini in 52 minutes.

Squash Women Recognised

Susie Simcock Receives IOC Award

Former WSF President  Susie Simcock has been honoured by the  International Olympic Committee. The presentation took place on Olympic Day at IOC Headquarters in Lausanne by Jacques Rogge (pictured), when the IOC and the Olympic family celebrated the 2010 Women and Sport Awards. Five
continental trophies and one world trophy were given to exceptional personalities – all of whom have made a significant difference to boosting the development, participation and involvement of women and girls in sport around the world.

Simcock was the first woman to be elected President of the World Squash Federation and the first to be elected as a council member of the General Association of International Sports Federations, known today as SportAccord. She is also Chairperson of the Women and Sport Committee for the New Zealand National Olympic Committee – and led the mergers between women’s and men’s federations in international squash and New Zealand golf, ensuring gender balance at executive level.

WSF President N Ramachandran was delighted that one of the sport’s most popular figures had been recognised in this way: “I was very pleased that the IOC chose  to celebrate Olympic Day this year by recognising the achievements of women in sport. It was apparent in Dubai  at SportAccord this year that all the bodies there wanted and need to have more women on their Boards and these awards must now surely encourage others.

“We in squash have always been very strongly represented – and at the top of our list comes the very special Susie Simcock. I am absolutely delighted that her magnificent work for squash these very many years has been recognised with the Oceania representation award.”

Jackie Robinson & Carin Clonda Honoured too……………

Squash also achieved recognition on both sides of the world in the traditional annual Queen’s Birthday Honours in the UK in June.

Jackie Robinson, the former Chairman of England Squash & Racketball who is now the Association’s President and Director of the WSF’s Championships Committee, received an OBE (Order of the British Empire).

Formerly a Vice President of the then  England Squash, Robinson was elected Chairman in 2002, when the organisation was in severe financial difficulties. Her  leadership showed persistence and tenacity in challenging times and was a key feature in the recovery that followed. She stood down from the board in 2006 after two successful terms, but continued her involvement when elected President, a post she still holds.

Jackie Robinson’s international links with the sport began in the 1970s with her captaincy of the British Universities team – and in the following decade she became Secretary of the Women’s Squash Rackets Association.

She is also still very active in tennis – as a coach and  a fine player, representing Great Britain as a veteran. Furthermore, she is a successful charity fundraiser, hosting her own charity tennis tournament.

In Australia, former international Carin Clonda – a founding member and former chairwoman of the Women’s International Squash Players Association (WISPA) – received the  Order of the Australia Medal (OAM). Clonda has been a tireless advocate for squash, holding State positions and managing international events in New South Wales.

Men’s World Junior Individual Title Set To Stay In Egypt

Amr Khaled Khalifa is expected to extend Egypt’s six-year grip on the  Men’s World Junior Squash Championship  title, according to the draw for the 2010 World Squash Federation event in Ecuador. The 17th

World Junior Individual Championship, which has attracted players from 25 countries, will take place at the Quito Tennis & Golf Club in the Ecuador capital Quito from 27 July to 1 August, followed by the Men’s World Junior Team Championship from 2-7 August. Khalifa is expected to follow in the footsteps of previous Egyptian double world junior champions Ramy Ashour (2004 & 2006) and Mohamed El Shorbagy (2008 & 2009).

WSF’s New Website Positively Received

The WSF acquired a new online look last month with the launch of its new website The fifth generation of the World Squash site. It is packed with information on the world game, plus technical information on member nations, rules, specifications and other data expected from a world governing body. User interaction is also improved, with an integrated Twitter feed, and viewers can comment on individual articles and sign up for daily email updates on new stories.

The upgrade has been very well received, with more comments and suggestions welcomed.

Hashim Khan: The ‘Athlete of Forever’

Hashim Khan, the ‘father’ of Pakistan squash who won seven British Open titles in the 1950s, pushed the sport into world headlines recently when nominated ‘Athlete of Forever’ in the USA. Beating all the greatest names ever from sports like boxing, baseball, football, basketball, American football, athletics, swimming, tennis and golf, 94-year-old Hashim was chosen as “an individual who could legitimately be considered the finest athlete of all time, the Athlete of Forever, but one who was hidden away, relatively speaking, from the majority of sports fans.”

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Don’t Forget………..

All WSF Member Nations have been sent details of the 40th WSF AGM and Conference which will be held 20 – 22 October at Fisherman’s Cove, Chennai, India. The  deadline for the submission of motions, proposals and Management Committee nomination is 24 July. Attending  Members should also be submitting their Package Reservation Forms now.

– Entries for the World Masters in Germany in August close on 11 July. To access an entry form go to the official website:

Regional News

Some 300 players competed in the 8th Annual Urban Individual Nationals last month at Williams College in the USA. “Urban Individuals is one of the most important competitions of the year – bringing together competitors from the country’s nine urban squash programs,” explained Tim Wyant, Executive Director of CitySquash in New York.

“The participants, who hail from the likes of Roxbury, South Chicago, North Philadelphia, Harlem and the Bronx, sleep in Williams dormitories and eat in one of its dining halls. They get to know the campus, reconnect with friends, cheer on teammates, and play their hearts out on court.

“We are proud of how all of our team members performed over the weekend. We are also proud of the sportsmanship they displayed at the tournament. They called double bounces, acknowledged good shots, and, win or lose, shook hands with their opponents and thanked the referees,” added Wyant.

Tour News

Congratulations to Nick Matthew, who became the 16th men’s world number one of all-time when he overtook Egypt’s Ramy Ashour in the June PSA list and continues in that position in the July PSA rankings too. The 29-year-old from Sheffield is the third Englishman to head the rankings, following  Peter Nicol and fellow Yorkshireman Lee Beachill

Australia’s Mike Corren also achieved a PSA breakthrough in June when he claimed his 27th Tour win to become the player with the most titles on the current international tour – overtaking fellow countryman David Palmer and Egypt’s Amr Shabana, both former world number ones and world champions!

Andrew Shelley starts

When Andrew Shelley takes up his post as WSF CEO on 2nd August after he concludes with WISPA, the updated WSF staff team will be:

Andrew Shelley, Chief Executive
Lorraine Harding, Operations Manager
Jasmine Gibson, Operations Assistant

2010 World Championships Update

World University Championships, Melbourne, Australia (10-18 July)
World Junior Men’s Individual & Team Championships, Quito, Ecuador (27 July – 7 August): See above
WSF World Masters, Cologne, Germany (23-28 August): Entries close 11 July.
World Women’s Open, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (15-22 September): Hosted by Egypt for the first time
World Women’s Team Championship, Palmerston North, New Zealand (29 November – 4 December)
Saudi World Men’s Open, Saudi Arabia (2-10 December)

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Issue 27, July / August 201o (pdf version)