The next generation of squash players looks to be in good hands. At the World Junior Squash Championship final, held in Tauranga, New Zealand, the male and female crowns have both gone to young Egyptian players who blew away the competition.
This clean sweep is the first time since 2013 that Egypt has swept the finals like this. At this year’s competition, the women’s title was won by Rowan El Araby and the men’s title was won by Marwan Tarek.
El Araby is 16 and was the runner-up last year in Poland, but is now the title winner and champion in Tauranga. On Monday, July 24th, she dominated the court 3-0 to win the final game against the top seed of the tournament — her compatriot, Hania El Hammamy. This has become the seventh title in a row for El Araby, who is on a hot streak.
After the win, El Araby stated that she was “so happy. I worked so hard for this title after coming second in Poland last year.” As for how she felt competing for the final against her fellow Egyptian, Hania El Hammamy, who was also seeded first, El Araby said “It’s difficult playing another Egyptian but there are no friends on the court and I worked hard to stay calm.” Her composure was clear to see by the crowd and it served her well as she led in each game and sweeped her opponent, 3-0.
 Rowan El Araby (EGY) bt  Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (36m)
Marwan Tarek is 17 years of age and went five games against French player, Victor Crouin. While he lost the second and fourth games, the fifth was a nail biter — after falling behind in the fifth, Tarek rallied back and won the next eight points before winning the game and championship title.
Tarek was nearly speechless after his win: “I can’t think right now, I’m the world champion, I’m the world champion,” he repeated as he celebrated with his teammates and coaches.
While he was feeling the effects of the semifinal game he won against the top-seeded Youssef Ibrahim, Tarek powered past his tired body and “survive[d]” as he continued playing the 57-minute, 5-game final against Victor Crouin of France.
He ended with a phrase that successful squash players understand all too well: “Dreams do come true.”
[3/4] Marwan Tarek (EGY) bt [3/4] Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-2: 11-9, 3-11, 11-6, 3-11, 11-2 (57m)