Egypt’s Rowan El Araby and Marwan Tarek are world junior champions after winning the individual finals Monday, July 24, in Tauranga, New Zealand. The results marked the fifth time Egypt claimed both titles in the same year since the WSF World Junior Championships began.
El Araby, sixteen years old and a 3/4 seed, claimed the junior women’s title first in an emphatic three-game upset against fellow Egyptian and top seed Hania El Hammamy, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 in thirty-six minutes.
“I am so happy. I worked so hard for this title after coming second in Poland last year,” El Araby said. “It’s difficult playing another Egyptian but there are no friends on the court and I worked hard to stay calm.”
The junior men’s final followed on the glass court and a five-game battle ensued between the two 3/4 seeds, Tarek and France’s Victor Crouin. The players traded games until Tarek closed out the match in a decisive fifth game, 11-2, after fifty-seven minutes.
“I can’t think right now, I’m the world champion, I’m the world champion,” Tarek said. “Dreams do come true.”
With the conclusion of the individual competitions, tournament focus shifts to the biennial junior women’s team championship as seeds and pools were determined following the completion of the individuals.
Team USA, who has finished second in the past three tournaments since 2011, is seeded fifth and enters group D alongside four seeds Hong Kong, twelve seeds Korea and fourteen seeds Ireland.
Team USA opens pool play against Ireland Tuesday, July 25, at 2:30pm, local time, 10:30pm ET Monday night, July 24. A crucial day of matches follows on Wednesday with a morning match against Hong Kong at 11am local time, 6pm ET Tuesday night, July 25, and an evening match against Korea at 6pm local time, 2am ET Wedesday, July 26.
Live stream all matches on www.wsfworldjuniors.com.