|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
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
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
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
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))
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
DARWISH WILL BE NO 1 SOON - AZIZ
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
"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
Official Games site
 Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Hisham Ashour (EGY) 3/0
 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
 Mohamed Abbas (EGY) bt Lazarus Chilufya (ZAM) 3/0
 Karim Darwish (EGY) bt  Rodney Durbach (RSA) 4-9, 9-3, 9-5, 9-2
 Mohamed Abbas (EGY) bt Adrian Hansen (RSA) 9-2, 9-3, 9-1
Karim Darwish bt Mohamed Abbas
9-5, 9-0, 9-1
 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,
 Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt Sjeanne Cawdry (RSA) 6-9, 9-4, 9-7, 10-8
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [3/4] Amnah El Trabolsy (EGY) 9-0, 9-3,
 Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt [3/4] Eman El Amir (EGY) 9-5, 6-9, 9-6, 9-10,
Omneya Abdel Kawy bt Engy Kheirallah
9-3, 7-9, 2-9, 9-2, 9-1
|GET YOUR PLAYERS OUT-
WHITTAKER TELLS NIGERIA
Experienced South African squash player, Glen Whittaker,
has advised the Nigeria Squash Federation to expose their players to
international squash tournaments to have them
Whittaker said the international exposure will be beneficial to the
"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
"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.
WHITTAKER QUITS FOR FAMILY
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
"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
"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.