Team Egypt, (l-r): Karim Abdel Gawad, Tarek Momen, Ali Farag, Mohamed Abouelghar
Egypt defeated England to win its fifth WSF Men’s World Team Championship title, while Team USA defeated Canada to secure a thirteenth place finish Saturday, December 21, at Squash on Fire in Washington, DC.
It was the fifth final between the two powerhouse nations in world squash since 2005–and the 2-0 victory brings the number of titles won by Egypt to five, equaling the success of their final opponents.
Twenty-three nations competed in the twenty-sixth edition of the championships, held in the U.S. for the first time in the event’s fifty-two-year history.
England cam within two points of earning the first match when Declan James and Karim Abdel Gawad battled until 10-all in the fifth game, but it was the Egyptian who pulled through 9-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10 after eighty-one minutes.
World No. 1 Ali Farag then stepped up to clinch the world team title in front of the spectating Egyptian ambassador to the U.S., defeating Adrian Waller 11-6, 11-6, 12-14, 11-4 in fifty-seven minutes.
“It feels amazing,” said Farag. “We came here as favorites on paper, but from the beginning it was tough and we were dropping games and matches, which shows the level of squash. Especially today, you saw the match between Dec and Karim, it was world class and I’m glad to have been part of it. I was lucky enough to play the last point, but it was a team event and I’m very proud to have been a part of it.”
Earlier in the day, Team USA defeated Canada 2-0 to finish the event on a high note with a third straight win. The twelfth-seeded U.S. endured a difficult start to the tournament, losing to Egypt and fifteen seeds Switzerland in pool play to miss out on the 1-12 play offs. The American bounced back with wins against Jamaica, Argentina and Canada to ensure their best possible finish in consolation play.
Veteran Chris Gordon gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead with a four-game win against David Baillargeon to open up the match. No. 1 Todd Harrity then clinched thirteenth place by defeating Shawn Delierre 11-5, 15-13, 11-8 in thirty-nine minutes.
“It’s great to end well,” Harrity said. “I’ve known Shawn for a long time and we’ve had a lot of battles and it’s always a good, fun and intense battle. I think as a team we got momentum throughout the week and I’m happy to have come out on top today.”
The U.S. squad included Harrity, Gordon, Andrew Douglas and Chris Hanson, and was led by the Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach Paul Assaiante and National Coach Thierry Lincou.
“It’s such a pleasure to be a part of this team and we get on really well and have really good chemistry and team dynamic,” Harrity said. “It’s been great getting up and getting on court while having your team behind you. It wasn’t necessarily the finish that we wanted but I’m proud to have been a part of this team and we ended strong.”
The WSF Men’s World Team Championship now moves to New Zealand for the twenty-seventh edition in 2021. For more tournament coverage visit worldteamsquashdc.com.