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Egypt’s Abdel Gawad wins World Championship as injured Ashour retires

Abdel Gawad

Photo: PSA

Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad beat his compatriot Ramy Ashour on Friday to clinch the 2016 PSA Men’s World Championship title.

The World No.3 defeated Ashour 3-1 in 50 minutes (5-11, 11-6, 11-7 and 2-1) as the three-time champion was forced to retire in the fourth game with an ankle injury.

Abdel Gawad continued his strong performances at the tournament as he had booked a spot in the final after overcoming World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the semi-final. He also claimed a 3-1 victory over three-time winner Nick Matthew in the quarter-final.

Ashour, who missed the chance to claim his fourth World Championship title, was awarded a walkover win in the semi-final after his opponent, reigning champion Gregory Gaultier, pulled out of the tournament with an injury.

The win makes Abdel Gawad the third Egyptian in history to claim the championship’s title after Amr Shabana and Ramy Ashour.

It comes less than two months after Abdel Gawad won the Al Ahram Open title by beating his compatriot Ali Farag in the final.

Abdel Gawad

Photo: PSA

Following the match, Abdel Gawad expressed his happiness for winning the title and praised Ashour, wishing him a speedy recovery.

“I still can’t believe it,” said Abdel Gawad following the match, according to the Professional Squash Association website.

“It has been a very long week, I didn’t have a good start, but I think I had good performances this week. I’m grateful to my team as I was able to get back on court today after my match yesterday.

“I feel very sorry for Ramy for having the injury again and not being able to complete the match today. He’s a great ambassador for our sport and we are all happy to have him around at the tournaments,” he added.

Ashour, who suffered a series of injuries over the past two years, said it was an honour to take part in the tournament and promised to “keep trying”.

“It was an honour to play this week, I’ve been through a lot, and every time I fall down I learn,” Ashour said.

“As long as I’m still breathing, I’ll just keep trying. It’s the thing that I feel so much happiness when I do and thank you all for being here today,” he added.

Editor-in-Chief at Pursuing a master's degree in sport policy, management and international development at the University of Edinburgh.

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