Squash.....and Gamal Awad of Egypt is the new British Amateur champion. In the final of?
Squash.....and Gamal Awad of Egypt is the new British Amateur champion. In the final of the British Amateur Championships in London on Monday (6 February), he beat world amateur champion Maqsood Ahmed of Pakistan. The final score: 3-9, 9-2, 4-9, 9-3, 9-5. Awad is the first Egyptian to take the title since Ibrahim Amin in 1960.
SYNOPSIS: Maqsood won the world amateur title in Canada last September, and it was thought that his greater experience would again see him through. Sporting a moustache, and looking extremely confident, he started well, and in the opening game, he was able to match the Egyptian's electrifying speed. He made good use of the reverse angle, and took the opening game 9-3. Awad upped the ???ace, however, and took the second 9-2.
There was no thought of defence from either player. Both went for winning shots, and their speed about court was breath taking. In the third, Maqsood's more inventive approach gave him the game 9-4, but Awad countered brilliantly by taking the fourth 9-3.
In the fifth, the pressure was really on Maqsood. Awad gambled with explosive, inspired shots, and it paid off. It was Maqsood's deft efficiency against Awad's blistering pace, and in the end it was the Egyptian, who triumphed 9-5. It was superb squash, described by many who were lucky enough to see it, as one of the finest matches to grace a British court since the peak years of the last Egyptian open champion, Abou Taleb.
Last September Maqsood had beaten Awad in the team competition in the world championships, so victory was even sweeter for the Egyptian.
After the match Maqsood signed a three-year professional contract.
Awad fully deserved his success. It was an exciting performance, and one that emphasised not only his tremendous flair and pace, butt also his superb temperament for the big occasion.