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Karim Abdel Gawad (left) Ramy Ashour (right)

Throwback Thursday: Story of the 2016 PSA Men’s World Championship

The AJ Bell PSA Men’s World Championship main draw begins on Sunday December 10, when the best players in the world descend on Manchester to battle it out for the sport’s main prize.

Join us as we take a look back on the story of the 2016 instalment of the tournament where a new men’s World Champion was crowned.

Round one – results
Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (46m)
James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4 (67m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [Q] Shehab Essam (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (21m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [Q] Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 3-1: 10-12, 13-11, 11-4, 11-3 (60m)
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1: 9-11, 12-10, 12-10, 12-10 (71m)
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt [LL] Evan Williams (NZL) 3-0: 13-11, 11-3, 11-7 (34m)
[11] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Peter Creed (WAL) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-6 (47m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 (24m)
Mohamed Reda (EGY) bt [Q] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (30m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [Q] Alister Walker (BOT) 3-0: 11-2, 13-11, 11-9 (42m)
Leo Au (HKG) bt [Q] Lance Beddoes (NZL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (28m)
[15] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Joe Lee (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-2 (31m)
[7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-0: 12-10, 11-6, 11-1 (35m)
[Q] Jens Schoor (GER) bt [13] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-1: 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9 (53m)
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt [14] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 13-11, 2-11, 13-11, 11-6 (65m)
[8] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-1: 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (53m)
[16] Max Lee (HKG) bt Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3 (50m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-1: 11-7, 6-11, 11-4, 13-11 (57m)
[9] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Mazen Gamal (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 11-3, 6-11, 11-7 (55m)
Ben Coleman (ENG) bt [Q] Joshua Masters (ENG) 3-1: 5-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 (50m)
Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt [Q] Joel Makin (WAL) 3-1: 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6 (74m)
[10] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 11-8, 1-11, 11-2 (45m)
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [Q] Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-2: 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (63m)
[12] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Diego Elias (PER) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-8 (33m)
[3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [Q] Shawn Delierre (CAN) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (23m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: Walkover
[Q] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-2: 8-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6 (67m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10 (66m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [WC] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 3-1: 11-13, 11-7, 12-10, 11-4 (50m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Rex Hedrick (AUS) 3-0: 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 (40m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 3-1: 11-6, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8 (79m)
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 (30m)

Away from the SQUASHTV cameras, the ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ slumped to a two-game deficit against England’s Nathan Lake – then ranked 74 in the world – to stand on the verge of an early exit on the side courts.

Gawad looked out of sorts as Lake controlled him for large periods but the local man managed to battle back as he took three games without reply.

Meanwhile, France’s Gregory Gaultier began his World Championship title defence with a win over New Zealand’s Paul Coll, whilst Ramy Ashour swept aside World No.51 Todd Harrity to begin his campaign and secure a safe passage through to the next round.

Round two – results
Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 3-2: 7-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (81m)
[10] Ali Farag (EGY) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-2: 5-11, 11-1, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5 (66m)
[16] Max Lee (HKG) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-7 (48m)
[12] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 12-10 (42m)
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2: 11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 7-11, 11-9 (91m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Leo Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 (45m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-8 (34m)
[8] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Mohamed Reda (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-2 (43m)
[15] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 13-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9 (64m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [9] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (49m)
[11] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Youssef Soliman (EGY) 3-1: 11-7, 12-14, 11-3, 11-5 (49m)
Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt [Q] Jens Schoor (GER) 3-1: 10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6 (44m)
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Stephen Coppinger (RSA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-8 (31m)
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [3] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-2: 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 1-11, 12-10 (103m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-3 (34m)
[7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-3 (54m)

In the second round of the competition, Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan came out on top in a gruelling 102-minute encounter with 2015 tournament runner-up Omar Mosaad to claim the biggest win of his career, prevailing 3-2 to reach the third round of the World Championships for the first time.

Gawad was once again taken to five, this time in round two by fellow Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar. Gawad let a two-game lead slip but managed to refocus in the fifth to do just enough to advance.

For England’s James Willstrop the tournament was over as he bowed out at the hands of Egypt’s Ali Farag, with Mathieu Castagnet another big name to fall by the wayside in round two.

Round three – results
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [16] Max Lee (HKG) 3-1: 7-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (49m)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [12] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1: 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10 (65m)
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-9 (36m)
[10] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [8] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-1: 11-4, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 (56m)
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6 (66m)
[15] Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-2: 13-11, 6-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-6 (99m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 (31m)
[11] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [7] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3 (78m)

Farag continued his progress with a 3-1 win over former World No.4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the last sixteen to set up a quarter-final clash with Mohamed ElShorbagy, who saw off compatriot Karim Ali Fathi in straight games.

England’s Nick Matthew was also a winner as he beat Germany’s Simon Rösner in four games.

Whilst, Egypt’s Tarek Momen caused the upset of the round as he saw off compatriot Marwan ElShorbagy in a thrilling five-game encounter.

Quarter-finals – results
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [10] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (45m)
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [4] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 (34m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [11] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-1: 11-5, 11-5, 14-16, 11-8 (73m)
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [15] Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 17-15, 10-8 retired (67m)

ElShorbagy came through a fiery encounter with compatriot Ali Farag in the quarter-finals to keep his title challenge alive.

Meanwhile, Gawad prevailed against Matthew – with the latter affected by illness. Ramy Ashour and Gregory Gaultier also secured their place in the next round as they managed wins over Fares Dessouky and Tarek Momen.

Semi-finals – results
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 13-11, 10-12, 11-13, 11-2, 11-5 (90m)
[5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-0: Walkover

Ashour secured a place in the final after ‘French General’ Gaultier suffered an ankle injury during his practice session and was unable to take to the court against the Egyptian maverick.

In the other semi-final, Gawad showed his title winning credentials as he overcame top seed ElShorbagy as they served up a five-game encounter to remember, with the former coming from 2-1 down to earn a place in the sport’s biggest tournament final for the first time in his career.

Final – result
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [5] Ramy Ashour (EGY) 3-1: 5-11, 11-6, 11-7, 2-1 retired (50m)

Gawad went on to cement his place in the squash history books as he became just the third Egyptian player of all time to lifted the coveted World Championship trophy when Ashour was forced to retire in the fourth game of their final fixture after suffering a reoccurrence of the hamstring injury that has ravaged the recent years of his career.

Gawad battled back from a game down to go 2-1 up when Ashour was unable to continue and handed the title to his compatriot.

“I can’t believe it,” said Gawad following the match.

“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 day after day and I’m really happy to win.”

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