CAIRO: Red Bull, the energy drink company, in collaboration with the Egyptian Squash Federation is planning a promotional squash tournament, Squash Temple, which will be played inside the Luxor temple using an unprecedented game format.
The tournament will feature eight of the top squash players in the world including 2009 world champion and Red Bull athlete KarimDarwish, 2010 world champion Ramy Ashour, 2010 world junior champion Amr Shabana, along with French, British and Australian world champions.
Hesham Aboul Kheir, Red Bull country manager, said that this event is part of Red Bull’s efforts to support sports in Egypt and also to project a good image of the country to the world.
Aboul Kheir added that the unusual location and game format of the tournament are true to Red Bull’s spirit that always strives to organize unusual athletic events.
“We chose to make the tournament in a place that will show the world Egypt’s civilization, and also make a statement that we’re not only Pharos, but we also have world class athletes,” said Aboul Kheir.
In order to increase the thrill of the tournament, it will be played in a new format that was decided by a committee of representatives from Red Bull and the Egyptian Squash Federation.
Instead of the normal game format which is made of five 11-point rounds, Squash Temple matches will be just one round and the final match will be only five points.
The 1st place winner will receive a LE 40,000 prize, 2nd place will receive LE 20,000, 3rd place will receive LE 10,000 and 4th through 7th place will receive LE 5,000 each
Darwish said that the short durations of the matches will force the players to do their best since the very beginning of the game and will create more entertaining and thrilling matches.
“We thought that the best way to create suspense and thrill is to make the final match only five points and double the cash prize from 2nd to 1st place,” said Darwish.
Two representatives from the International Squash Federation will attend the tournament to assess the new game format.
Assem Khalifa, head of the Egyptian Squash Federation, believes that this tournament will help increase the popularity of squash in Egypt.
“This tournament will create much needed marketing for squash in Egypt which we can’t accomplish with our limited resources so when we found a sponsoring company to help us do that we had to accept,” said Khalifa.
Mohamed El-Minshawy, vice president of the International Squash Federation, said that the tournament is a very important event as it will give the federation the opportunity to experiment with new scoring systems and new ways of marketing for the game.