Egyptians make it top notch

The 2012 Cayman World Open presented by BDO starts in nine days and the local squash community is getting really excited.

The qualifying tournament begins at South Sound Squash Club on 14 December and the glass court matches begin at Camana Bay on 17 December.

The new site at Festival Green at Camana Bay allows for better viewing options of the glass court, and a magnificent view across the harbour of Camana Bay.

Last week the area was re-surfaced and on Thursday and Friday the wooden platform to hold the court was put in place.

The court tent was erected by Lions Productions over the weekend and the crew from the United States has begun construction of the glass court. The seating build is under way too.

All building was stopped on Saturday to allow for the Parade of Lights fireworks to be set up.

Event director Dan Kneipp said: “Cayman hosting the World Open is a huge deal. This is the biggest and most prestigious tournament for a professional squash player and that guarantees that we’re going to see some of the toughest and most entertaining squash possible.

“But to give you an idea of how good some of these matches will be, for the previous Cayman Opens we have had all the best players in the world, but not the Egyptians.

“We had Ramy Ashour last year in the men’s event, but no Egyptians in the women’s event. For this year’s Cayman World Open we will have seven Egyptians playing including the current world No.2 and No.8.

“Having the Egyptian ladies attend is significant as Egypt is the strongest country in the world for squash. Egypt has won the last seven World Junior Men’s Championships, and the last two World Junior Team Championships.

“Egypt has won 6 of the last seven World Junior Women’s Championships and five of the last seven World Junior Team Championships. Egypt’s senior men’s team have won the last two World Team Championships and Egypt’s senior women’s team has won two of the last three World Team Championships, including the 2012 title last month in France.

“To give you an idea of the strength of the Egyptian women’s team, the players that are coming to Cayman include Raneem El Weleily. She won the World Junior Championships twice, beat Nicol David in the Malaysian Open final earlier this year and is currently ranked No.2 in the world.

“Then we have Nour El Sherbini. In 2009 she was only 13, but this didn’t stop her winning the Under-19 World Junior Championships. She won the World Juniors again this year and is currently No.8 in the world.

“We also have Nour El Tayeb from Egypt. She won the 2011 World Junior Championships and is currently ranked No.24 in the world. And that brings us to Omneya Abdel Kawy.

“Last year Omneya was ranked in the top 10, including a career best ranking of No.4. She is so strong and so consistent that since 2004 there is only one year that she hasn’t been ranked in the top 10, which was this year.”

Kneipp is keen to promote the Cayman World Open for Christmas parties and other functions.

He said: “Have you considered having your office Christmas party at the Cayman World Open? Do you or your company have some island trips or experiences that you can offer to some of the visiting players? We will again try to make sure that the players attending the tournament in Cayman get to experience everything Cayman has to offer. If you have any trips of experiences that you’re able to donate please contact [email protected]

“Thanks to our generous sponsors we have a tournament raffle with over $50,000 in prizes including a 2013 Ford Edge from Vampt Motors. Proceeds go to funding the Cayman World Open and the CINSA junior squash programme.”

The 2012 Cayman World Open is run to help finance the junior squash programme. In 2012 the tournament has already put $47,000 into the funding of the National Squash Coach, and the tournament is donating $42,000 in Dunlop equipment for the junior programme to ensure the programmes continue to have free equipment. Over 2000 juniors went through the different junior programmes this year, sponsored by Maples, Butterfield and Digicel.

He is proud that 100 per cent of the profits of the 2012 Cayman Open go directly to the national junior squash programme. The 2012 Cayman World Open is run by the Cayman Islands National Squash Association.

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