When the Miracle Girl broke yet another record: Youngest World Champ ever

Alexandria-born/based Nour El Sherbini established herself as the world’s leading female player over the course of the past 12 months, building on the promise she showed when she first burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old in the 2012 British Open final after winning her first World Champ Junior Title at the incredible age of 13!!!

In 2011, aged 15, in 60 seconds with, Steve Cubbins aske her what was her goal for the next 5 years. One of them was to win the World Champ (at the time WISPA) title.

Guess what: right on schedule, as in April 2016, aged 20 + 5 months, she became World Champion, sweeping Dame Susan Devoy's record, whose record had stood for 31 years (21 years old 9 months in October 1985).


I remember it well, as it was exactly at the same time than El Gouna, with the final the day after El Gouna's final, and I had run out of internet as  you do that morning, with no means to recharge, and had to follow the match on the PSAscoreboard on my phone.

Nour had been in frightening form on that event, beating Australia’s Donna Urquhart and Hong Kong’s Annie Au in the first two rounds to set up a quarter-final clash with home hero and eight-time winner Nicol David - whose name was on the venue the event was happening. No pressure at all Nic....

As she did in the 2103 World Edition - actually played in April 2014, a thrilling battle ending 11/9 in the 5th at the semi's stage - Nour put in a  4 game 47m sensational performance to shatter Malaysian hearts and seal a place in the semi-finals.

At that stage, was she going to chuckle against her compatriot and World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar as she did in the first round of the Worlds in Wadi Degla Cairo, december 2014? "Not tonight Nouran", as the Alexandria Star brushed aside the 2014 affront in 29m, 5, 5, 5!

So, there we had it. The repeat of the 2013 World Championship final with Massaro, which took place in the same country, where Nour arrived mentally and physically dented by her huge and first ever victory against Nicol.

This time round, none of that. Fresh as a rose. She would need to be. Laura knew Nour was bound to be nervous in that final. The English Lady had beaten the Egyptian in that 2013 World Final, but also in the Final in Qatar, in probably the gutstiest performance I ever saw Laura produced. And it was not a little defeat in Windy City that was going to dent that confidence Laura had built up. Laura was going to fight to the death to clinch her second title and was going to use all her experience to do so.

And confident, Laura was. With poise and calm, clinical squash she took the match by the scruff of the neck to build up a two-game lead.

Still El Sherbini mounted an incredible fightback to take the next two. The 5th was just incredible of suspense, as the two warriors were neck to neck up to 8/8 but it was the young Egyptian turn to get gold, 11/8 in the 5th, becoming the first female Egyptian World Champion - a win that also saw her overtake Massaro to top the following month’s World Rankings.

World Champ AND World Number 1 in less than 15 days. Even in her young girl's dream, Nour didn't wish for that one....

The Early Years

End of Juniors

I'm dreaming right now, I didn't imagine I could win this match.

I want to say thanks to the Egypt team and everyone here for all the support that pushed me to the end. Laura is a very tough player and even until the end I didn't think i could do it.

At 2-0 down I thought it was over, Shabana just kept telling me to focus and play squash and forget about the score and just... start again.


Based on a PSA story by Sean Reuthe

[ Nour El Sherbini ] Karim Abdel Gawad 2016 ] Gezirah Club 2016 ] US Junior 2016 ] Heliopolis 2016 ] WWT 2016 ] Qatar 2016 ] WD Women 2016 ] World Champs WD2016 ] US Open 2016 ]

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