Jubilant Egypt pictured with the World Team Championship Trophy.

‘Unbelievable’ Says Wales Coach David Evans In Hailing Welsh World Squash Championship Medals Success

David Evans, the former British Open squash champion from Griffithstown, has reflected on an astonishing Welsh performance at the World Team Championships in Washington, USA.

Wales return home today after earning a bronze medal position behind champions Egypt and runners-up England. The Egyptians are champions, but Wales have made themselves the talk of World squash.

“We’ve won a medal now in the World team championships, which is unbelievable,” says Evans, who was Welsh coach and performance director for Squash Wales. 

Joel Makin, the World number 12 who hails from Haverfordwest in West Wales, played in the match of the tournament when he defeated Egypt’s newly crowned World Champion Tarek Momen in the semi-final.

Egypt went on to win the match 2-1 and progress into the final, but they were stunned momentarily when Wales took the lead and put the favourites under massive pressure.

Evans, a veteran of eight World team championships, was delighted with the third place finish and said: “That performance by the boys against Egypt – and Joel winning that match – just rounds it off.

“Joel v Tarek was the best game of squash I’ve seen in many years. We ran Egypt so close. 

“We knew we were going to struggle in the lower order as they are top quality players, but it showed the team spirit in our team and the effort put in by the players.”

Wales defeated Hong Kong and Scotland in their last 16 and quarter-final ties with Cardiff-born Emyr Evans producing his own magical moment when he played Henry Leung, a 24-year-old World ranked more than 30 places higher than the Welshman.

With vociferous support from the Welsh camp surrounding the all-glass show court at the Squash On Fire Centre in Washington, Evans fought back to draw level winning 11-8, 11-13, 12-14, 11-7, 11-7 after 87 minutes.

Evans punched the air with delight and later tweeted: “Wow, what a week. 

“Massive effort and big performances all week and the same against Egypt. I couldn’t be prouder bringing the bronze medal home with this team! “Thanks to all the support from back home. It all means so much.”

Wales were able to relax on the final day of the championships, while Egypt defeated England 2-0 in the final to earn a fifth WTC title.

“It feels amazing,” said world number one Ali Farag.

“We came here as favourites, but from the beginning it was tough and we were dropping games and matches, which shows the level of squash.

“I was lucky enough to play the last point and complete the win, but it was a team event and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”

Assem Khalifa, the Egyptian Federation President, said: “Every year this event becomes more difficult for us. Other teams are preparing themselves better and better each year. I don’t expect anything.

“You cannot guarantee anything in this event. Look at Karim, who had a nose bleed. That was completely unexpected. You have to prepare yourself for the unexpected.

https://twitter.com/EmyrevoEmyr/status/1208404901828661249?s=20

“It’s not enough to come here with No1, No2 and No3 players in the world – because the team event is completely different from the individual event.

“The spirit of the team increases performance by maybe 50%. A lot of players here have been doing unbelievable things because they are playing for their country. You are not playing as an individual, you are playing for your flag, for your country – it is totally different.

“All these players are professionals, they play for the PSA and they play for prize money. But they come here and give for their country, and we appreciate all of them, and this is the beauty of a team event.

“This event is important for Egypt. Our Ambassador came to support us – and he would not come to an individual event.

“Squash is the number one game in Egypt, after football. Everybody back home is waiting for us to bring home the trophy.”

Final:

[1] EGYPT bt [2] ENGLAND 2-0

Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Declan James (USA) 3-2: 9-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10 (107m)

Ali Farag (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 12-14, 11-4 (57m)

3rd place: [3] FRANCE & [11] WALES

The Welsh team for the championships was:

Joel Makin (World number 12). Born Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. Lives Birmingham. Age 24. Racket: Unsquashable

Peter Creed (World number 68). Born Caerphilly. Lives Cardiff. Plays out of Rhiwbina SRC. Age 32. Racket: Head

Emyr Evans (World number 118). Born Cardiff. Lives Rhyl. Age 22. Racket: Karakal

Owain Taylor (World number 193). Born Colchester. Lives Colchester. Age 23. Racket: Head

Twenty three nations competed in the 26th edition of the championships, hosted by US Squash, at Squash On Fire, the new state-of-the-art eight-court facility in the US capital.

World Team Championships, final day results:

Final:

[1] EGYPT bt [2] ENGLAND 2-0

Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Declan James (USA) 3-2: 9-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10 (107m)

Ali Farag (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 12-14, 11-4 (57m)

3rd place: [3] FRANCE & [11] WALES

5th place play-off:

[4] NEW ZEALAND bt [5] GERMANY 2-0

Evan Williams (NZL) bt Valentin Rapp (GER) 3-0: 11-1, 11-7, 11-8 (42m)

Paul Coll (NZL) bt Simon Rösner (GER)3-2: 11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3 (62m)

7th place play-off:

[9] SCOTLAND bt [8] SPAIN 2-1

Carlos Cornes (ESP) bt Rory Stewart (SCO) 3-2: 8-11, 11-3, 2-11, 11-2, 8-11 (70m)

Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-1: 12-10, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8 (72m)

Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Iker Pajares (ESP) 3-0: 11-0, 6-2 ret. (19m)

13th place play-off:

[12] USA bt [14] CANADA 2-0

Christopher Gordon (USA) bt David Baillargeon (CAN) 3-1: 7-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-1 (40m)

Todd Harrity (USA) bt Shawn Delierre (CAN) 3-0: 11-5, 15-13, 11-8 (39m)

15th place play-off:

[21] KUWAIT bt [16] ARGENTINA 2-0

Ali Alramezi (KUW) bt Jeremías Azaña (ARG) 3-1: 11-5, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5 (39m)

Ammar Altamimi (KUW) bt Robertino Pezzota (ARG) 3-0: 11-2, 11-2, 11-2 (22m)

17th place play-off:

[18] IRELAND bt [17] JAMAICA 2-0

Oisin Logan (IRL) bt Tahjia Lumley (JAM) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 (25m)

Sean Conroy (IRL) bt Lewis Walters (JAM) 3-2: 12-10, 5-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 (54m)

19th place play-off:

[19] SOUTH AFRICA bt [13] COLOMBIA 2-1

Gary Wheadon (RSA) bt Erick Herrera (COL) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (48m)

Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) bt Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA) 3-0: 7-11, 11-13, 4-11 (41m)

Christo Potgieter (RSA) bt Ronald Palomino (COL) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-3 (43m)

21st – 23rd place play-offs:

[22] REPUBLIC OF KOREA bt [20] SINGAPORE 2-1

Joong-Won Hwang (KOR) bt Brandon Tan (SGP) 3-1: 11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 13-11 (42m)

Samuel Kang (SGP) bt Se Hyun Lee (KOR) 3-0: 6-11, 8-11, 0-11 (24m)

Chang-Wook Woo (KOR) bt Chua Man Tong (SGP) 3-1: 11-3, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5 (42m)

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