When the Miracle Girl broke yet another record: Youngest World
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!!!
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).
KUALA LUMPUR, WORLD CHAMP, APRIL
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
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
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....