Paris, Dec 4, 2016: Nour, Hot favourites Egypt, whose three-woman team boasts the top three players in the world, beat defending champions England in today’s final of the WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship in the French capital Paris to reclaim the World Squash Federation title they lost to their opponents in 2014 (Egypt Reclaim Womens Title).
But it was second seeds England who took the lead on the all-glass court at Palais Des Sports Robert Charpentier in the Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux where Laura Massaro, the world No.4, recovered from a game down to inflict the event’s first defeat on Nour El Sherbini, the world No.1
Former world champion Massaro, who went into the match 5/3 ahead in her career head-to-head battles with the Egyptian, won 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 6-11 in 49 minutes to put England ahead.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Egyptian number two Nouran Gohar, the 19-year-old world No.3 making her debut in the championship, despatched England’s experienced Alison Waters (both pictured above) 11-6, 11-4, 12-10 to force a decider. Londoner Waters had a game ball in the third, but three successive balls into the tin handed victory to the Cairo teenager.
Squad number threes lined up for the decider – England’s Sarah-Jane Perry, the world No.11 who had played in all England’s ties in Paris, facing Raneem El Welily, the former world number one now ranked two in the world.
It took 31 minutes for the title to be decided – El Welily keeping on top throughout the match before emerging victorious 12-10, 11-4, 11-6.
Egyptian national coach Amr Shabana anticipated the way the tie started: “Laura came out strong, as expected. She didn’t give away any cheap points. Her fighting spirit won the crucial points.
England national coach David Campion admitted: “Egypt were just too strong. Raneem and Nouran played at their best levels – but they needed to as our girls performed well.
Beaten semi-finalists France and Hong Kong China both secured Bronze medals – the fifth-seeded hosts recording a top four finish for the first time in 16 appearances in the championship since 1987 and Hong Kong celebrating a second successive last four place.
It was the play-off for fifth place which entertained the crowd earlier in the day when USA, the No.7 seeds bidding for a second successive fifth finish, took on Malaysia, the third seeds who were runners-up in the 2014 championship in Canada.
The top string battle promised to be close – Malaysia’s greatest player of all-time Nicol David, currently ranked 6 in the world, taking on Amanda Sobhy, the world No.7 who defeated David for the first time only a month earlier in the USA.
David twice came back from a game behind, but in the decider – with both players showing the toil of the week’s exertions – it was Sobhy who ultimately prevailed, winning 11-6, 5-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9 in 53 minutes to put USA ahead.
The two opponents in the next match had never met before – Malaysian Delia Arnold an experienced 30-year-old ranked 17 in the world and American Reeham Sedky an inexperienced and unranked 19-year-old yet to embark on a professional career.
Arnold led 2/1 but the hard-hitting US teenager battled back, taking the fourth after a tie-break and fighting from 4-6 down in the decider to win 11-7, 9-11, 11-13, 12-10, 11-8 after 77 minutes.
Sobhy’s win over the player who topped the world rankings for a record 109 months ended David’s incredible 38-match unbeaten run in the championship since 2004.
New Zealand won the play-off for 7th place to repeat their success four years ago, while India secured 9th place to better their success in 2014.
Winning the 11th place play-off saw Japan record their best ever finish in the championship, while Spain achieved 13th place to earn the highest finish for 20 years.
 EGYPT bt  ENGLAND 2/1
Nour El Sherbini lost to Laura Massaro 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 6-11 (49m)
Nouran Gohar bt Alison Waters 11-6, 11-4, 12-10 (41m)
Raneem El Welily bt Sarah-Jane Perry 12-10, 11-4, 11-6 (31m). —- WSF
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