On 26 August, Gezira Sporting Club (GSC) will host the 2016 Cairo Arab Regional Junior Squash Open. The event will last until 1 September.
The championship is divided into categories by gender with age divisions under 11, 13, 15, 17, and 19.
On this occasion, Daily News Egypt met Mostafa Assal, one of the players competing in the event, to learn more about his achievements. Did you practise any other sports before squash?
When I was four years old I started to play football at GSC. I stopped when I was nine years old.
How did you start squash?
While I was playing football, I went to watch a national squash championship final at Wadi Degla Club. I went with my uncle, Ibrahim Assal, who was a trainer for Youssef Ibrahim who was playing at that match. I loved the sport and wanted to practise it.
Was it an easy start?
At the beginning, I could not manage to play. Generally, people should start at six or seven years old, but I started at nine.
I started squash at my uncle’s squash academy in 6th of October City. Afterwards, I moved to GSC. At the time I was practising both squash and football.
When I reached the age of 10 and half, I decided it was time to concentrate on only one sport. My father encouraged me to continue to pursue squash, as its future is brighter than football in Egypt. I then joined the GSC junior squash team.
What was your best national rank?
I ranked first nationally 5 April 2015.
Can you talk about your national achievements?
I won the boys under-13 in the 2013 Gezira Club Tournament, the boys under-14 in the 2014 El-Shams Club Tournament, and the boys under-15 in the 2015 Gezira Club Tournament.
I was awarded second place in the boys under-13 division in the 2013 Alexandria District Championship, 2013 Maadi Club Tournament, the 2013 Heliopolis Club Tournament, and the 2014 Egyptian National Championship. I also placed second in the boys under-15 division in the 2014 Heliopolis Club Tournament and the 2014 Wadi Degla Club Tournament.
I finished in third place in the boys under-15 division at the 2014 Alexandria District Championship and the 2015 Egyptian National Championship. I finished third in the boys under-17 division at the 2015 El-Shams Club Tournament, the 2015 Shooting Club Tournament, and the 2015 Maadi Club Tournament. I also placed third in the boys under-19 at the 2016 Sporting Club Tournament.
I finished fourth place in the boys under-17 division in the 2015 El-Zohour Club Tournament.
What are your international victories?
I won the boys under-15 competition at the 2015 Malaysian Junior Open, the 2015 Hong Kong Junior Open, and the 2016 British Junior Open. I won the boys under-15 team competition at the 27th Arab Junior Open in 2015, which took place in Saudi Arabia.
I placed second in the boys under-13 at the 2014 British Junior Open, the boys under-15 individual at the 27th Arab Junior Open in 2015 in Saudi Arabia, and the boys under-17 at the 2015 US Junior Open.
I finished fourth in the boys under-15 competition at the 2015 British Junior Open.