The Egyptians are a superpower in the world of squash, with a seemingly never ending conveyer belt of top quality squash talent and dominating players – this is a tribute to the Egyptian’s contribution to our sport and a look at how they have achieved such success.
Over the last decade, Egypt has enjoyed an ever increasing influence on the sport of squash and at the time of writing, the top 10 squash players in the world consisted of 5 men and 5 women.
A quick look at the number one male and female players in the official PSA World Squash rankings also show two dominating Egyptians, arriving in the form of Mohamed Elshorbagy and Raneem El Welily respectively.
The country listings on this world rankings screenshot really tell the story of Egypt’s current dominance in the sport, but how are they achieving such incredible success in recent times and what lessons could other countries learn from their feats?
Investing in Youth
The adult Professional Squash Association is not the only arena the Egyptians are dominating. They also have a very healthy junior squash set up, with junior tournaments like the highly respected British Junior Open being won by an Egyptian every year since 2006 on the men’s side of the game.
Perhaps one of the driving forces behind this is the obvious investment the Egyptian Squash Association places on bringing through the youthful squash players. Professional players at the top of their sport have it written into their pro contracts that they must occasionally play with the junior Egyptian players, almost as a way of handing down the baton.
Experiences like this would be truly inspiring to youthful Egyptian squash players, who truly idolise their squash heroes, and encourages further participation and dedication to the sport above all others.
Squash at the Pyramids
Egypt is also home to perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring courts in the world:
The Al-Ahram World Open Tournament is held amongst a backdrop of Egypt’s iconic pyramids, after former Egypt president Hosni Mubarak brought the tournament to the venue during a period of increased funding for the sport.
Perhaps one of the greatest Egyptian squash players to grace the game is the legendary Amr Shabana, who retired as recently as August 2015 having enjoyed incredible success at the top of the sport. The awesome left-hander from Cairo, Egypt achieved 30 PSA title victories in total, including 4 World Open titles.
This kind of success from such a charismatic player must surely have a generation of future squash stars to emerge from Egypt and continue to dominate the squash as it grows across the world and gains a stronger presence in the US.
Egypt – we salute you!