All Africa Games 2003
05-14 Oct, Abuja

from the All Africa Games

Egypt Sweep The Board
In All Africa Games
Squash's maiden appearance in the All Africa Games produced a fitting finale in the Nigerian capital of Abuja with Egypt beating South Africa in both the men's and women's team finals to add to the gold medals the nation won in both singles disciplines last week.

The standard of squash in the men's matches was phenomenal. South Africa's part-time player Adrian Hansen staged an amazing comeback against Egypt's Mohammed Abbas in the opening battle between the second strings - fighting back from 2-0 down to take the match into a fifth game decider before Abbas, ranked 25 in the world, clinched a 9-3 9-1 0-9 1-9 9-6 victory.

In the top string tussle between Egypt's All Africa Individual gold medallist Karim Darwish and Rodney Durbach, the South African played the best squash of his life. Focussed and calm, Durbach made Darwish earn each winning point.

Darwish, the world No8, just had the edge on Durbach both in speed and shot-making - and eventually came through as 6-9 9-6 9-6 9-7 victor to give the favourites the title.

In the women's final, South Africa's No2 Angie Clifton-Parks also took her opponent Engy Kheirallah the full distance in the opening match before the Egyptian claimed a hard-fought 9-5 8-10 9-1 7-9 9-4 victory. In the top string clash, South Africa's now retired Claire Nitch pulled level after Egypt's world junior champion Omneya Abdel Kawy took the opening game - but world No14 Kawy's greater form eventually came to the fore as she secured her 9-1 8-10 9-4 9-7 victory and Egypt's fourth gold medal of the Games.

South Africa gained a morale-boosting consolation point when Sjeanne Cawdry beat Egypt's third string Eman El Amir 9-1 9-5 in the best-of-three dead rubber.

Individual Results & Reports

Official Games site

Men's Team Semi-finals:

Egypt 3 Zambia 0
(Mohammed Abbas bt Lazarus Chiluyfa 9-2 9-4 9-6, Wael El Hindi bt O'Neil Chilambwe 9-1 9-0 9-2, Hisham Ashour bt Richard Twali 9-2 9-4 9-7)
South Africa 3 Nigeria 0
(Rodney Durbach bt Wasiu Sanni 9-4 9-6 9-3, Adrian
Hansen bt Ehime Ehalem 9-4 9-1 9-6, Greg La Mude bt Jonah Attah 4-9 9-0 9-4)

Egypt 2 South Africa 0
(Karim Darwish bt Rodney Durbach 6-9, 9-6, 9-6, 9-7; Mohammed Abbas bt Adrian Hansen 9-3, 9-1, 0-9, 1-9, 9-6; Wael El Hindi v Greg La Mude (dead rubber not played))

Women's Final:
Egypt 2 South Africa 1
(Omneya Abdel Kawy bt Claire Nitch 9-1, 8-10, 9-4, 9-7; Engy Kheirallah bt Angie Clifton-Parks 9-5, 8-10, 9-1, 7-9, 9-4; Eman El Amir lost to Sjeanne Cawdry 1-9, 5-9 (best-of-three dead rubber)


Karim Darwish and Omneya Abdell Kawy, both of Egypt, made history as the first players to win the gold medals at the All Africa Games, going on in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. The game of squash is making a debut in the Games that started in 1965.

Darwish beat fellow Egyptian Mohammed Abbas 3-0 in a thrilling match, the best so far in the Games.

"I knew I would win, but it was a great feeling winning the gold here"' said the new champion.

Abdel Kawy also beat compatriot Engy Kheirallah to complete a clean sweep for Egypt, as they made it gold, silver and bronze in the women's single.

South Africa won the bronze for the mens single.

After the match Kawy said: "It is such a great feeling to win this gold for my country".

The man credited with discovering the likes of Ahmed Barada, Abdel Wahed Aziz, has said the current world number 8, Karim Darwish will soon be the best squash player in the world.

Aziz, who is also the secretary general of the Egyptian Squash Association (ESA) said the player will hit the top with enough competition and concentration.

"I discovered him when he was six, and I saw in him then the potential of a champion. He can be as good as Barada. He will get there soon." he said.

Aziz said he is so glad that his country is making history, stressing that he has also seen a lot of improvement in the African countries present.

The teams event for men's team start today.

Squash will grow in Nigeria
Nigerian female squash star, Victoria Francis Mkpidut, believes the game of squash will be the better for it, after the All Africa Games. Full story

Squash Results
from Aubja

Official Games site

Men's quarter-finals:
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Hisham Ashour (EGY) 3/0
[3] Rodney Durbach (RSA) bt [5/8] Shaun Johnstone (ZIM) 9-1, 9-1, 9-3
Adrian Hansen (RSA) bt [5/8] Wasin Sanni (NGR) 9-3, 9-1, 9-4
[2] Mohamed Abbas (EGY) bt Lazarus Chilufya (ZAM) 3/0
[1] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [3] Rodney Durbach (RSA) 4-9, 9-3, 9-5, 9-2
[2] Mohamed Abbas (EGY) bt Adrian Hansen (RSA) 9-2, 9-3, 9-1
Karim Darwish bt Mohamed Abbas
9-5, 9-0, 9-1

Women's quarter-finals:
[1] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Claire Nitch (RSA) 9-5, 5-9, 9-0, 9-7
[3/4] Amnah El Trabolsy (EGY) bt Joy Arubayi (NGR) 3/0
[3/4] Eman El Amir (EGY) bt Angie Clifton-Parks (RSA) 9-1, 5-9, 9-2, 5-9, 9-2
[2] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt Sjeanne Cawdry (RSA) 6-9, 9-4, 9-7, 10-8
[1] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [3/4] Amnah El Trabolsy (EGY) 9-0, 9-3, 9-5
[2] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt [3/4] Eman El Amir (EGY) 9-5, 6-9, 9-6, 9-10, 9-3
Omneya Abdel Kawy bt Engy Kheirallah
9-3, 7-9, 2-9, 9-2, 9-1


Experienced South African squash player, Glen Whittaker, has advised the Nigeria Squash Federation to expose their players to international squash tournaments to have them improve.

Whittaker said the international exposure will be beneficial to the country.

"You guys have got lots of good players, but the problem remains, they have not being exposed to international competitions", said the South African number 4.

He further disclosed that to gain this exposure, he will assist to have the players play in the South African league for a while to improve on their game.

"If the players can come to South Africa for 3- 4months, it would be good. From there they can get to meet other players and learn from them. I have no doubt that you have  good talents here".

Nigeria has had it rough in the game, which happens to be the favourite sport of the country's president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Tourneys are rarely organised as players usually train without having to test their skills against quality opponents.


South Africa's Glen Whittaker says he is quitting international squash because of his family.

Whittaker spoke after being bundled out of the 8thAllAfrican Games in Abuja, that he wants to spent more time with his wife and baby.

"I have been spending so much time away, and l need to spend more time with my wife and baby."

He says he intends to go into sports marketing, stressing that he had already started that since 2years ago.

"I am now into more of sports marketing now." Whittaker who came to the Games as the South Africa's number 4, said he hope some more talented South Africans will be able to take over from him soon.

On his sometimes erratic behaviour in court, he said it is his own way of giving his 120% in the game. "A lot of people have said so much about me, but l don't care, because l give like giving my 120% in every match l play. And l don't intend to stop, as long as l play."

Whittaker was easily the most entertaining player at the Games, as he challenged every call against him in the courts, and at a time threatened to be sent out of the courts by the chief referee.

Meanwhile, all Nigerian players have been eliminated from the competition, in the individual events, leaving them to compete in the teams events, where they will meet stiff oppositions from the likes of Egypt, South Africa, Zimbabwe.

Nigerian female squash star, Victoria Francis Mkpidut, believes the game of squash will be the better for it, after the All Africa Games.

Mkpidut who lost out in the early stages of the individual event of the competition, says the losses will only point to the way up for the game in the country.

"We should not be ashamed that we lost to the likes of Egypt and South Africa. They are world powers in the game of squash. But they should beware because Nigeria can only learn from these losses and build on them. We will get there", said the player who won the pre-games DEXTRA tournament in Abuja.

On the sport, which has not received enough patronage from sponsors in Nigeria, she said she hopes the performance at the Games will ginger the Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF) to work harder at improving the game.

"We have seen a strong Egyptian and South African team, with a great tradition in the game, coming here to dominate us, so we really do not have any choice other than to put our acts together and learn some things from how they did it. "I am glad that our opponents agreed  that we gave them enough fight. So we just must lean on them, get exposed to international competitions, and then we are up there challenging them".

Mkpidut remains the only female Nigerian to win the National Sports Festival squash gold medals, thrice. But she was not exactly lucky in the All Africa Games.


  Egypt Seeded To Sweep
The Board In All Africa Games

Powerful squash nation Egypt is expected to sweep the board in the sport's debut in the 8th All Africa Games, which takes place in Abuja, Nigeria, from 05-14 October.

Egypt's world No8 Karim Darwish is top seed in the men's event, while compatriot Omneya Abdel Kawy, the world junior champion ranked 14 in the world, is favourite in the women's event.

The finals of the men's and women's singles events take place on Thursday 9 October, followed by the men's and women's team events which reach their finals on Tuesday 14 October.

Egypt is joined by South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in the men's team event - and by South Africa and Nigeria in the women's team championship.