Egypt's squash star and world number one Mohamed Elshorbagy has expressed great pride in Egypt's recent achievement in the British Open, vowing to continue training hard to remain on top for a long time.
Elshorbagy defeated countryman and world number five Ramy Ashour 3-0 on Monday to retain the British Open title; his 5th successive World Series trophy this season.
In an interview by email, Elshorbagy spoke to Ahram Online about the recent trophy, the difficulties he faced, his ambitions and upcoming challenges.
How do you feel after keeping the British Open title for a second year?
Of course I am very happy to win this title, it is the most prestigious title in squash tournaments, and to be able to defend my title is something I am proud of.
World number five Nour El-Sherbini gave Egypt its first British Open title for women. How do you see the achievement of both of you?
I am so happy and proud that Egypt has been doing so well these days. It was a great day for Egypt and a great tournament, and I am really proud to be one of the four Egyptian players who participated in the final.
Our national team coach Amr Shabana has been doing such a great job with us and I am really thankful to him.
Mohamed Elshorbagy with Nour El Sherbini after winning the British Open titles (Photo: Professional Squash Association official website)
What are the main difficulties you met in playing in this prestigious tournament?
I played in many tournaments before this one, so this title was really very hard to get it after the long season.
I've already won four World Series titles in a row before the British Open, and it is not easy to keep your body physically and mentally [in shape] from tournament to another.
Your brother Marawan Elshorbagy (World No. 11) recently complained of a lack of facilities offered by the Egyptian Federation for the national team. Do you agree?
The Egyptian Federation has its positives and negatives.
I remember when I was in Hong Kong to play in the tournament last December and my passport was stolen, the federation helped me get back to Egypt.
But at the same time, we spoke many times with our federation about the need to have a doctor or physiotherapist with us at tournaments like the other teams. They accept in some tournaments and refuse in others, like in this tournament, although the British Open is at nearly the same level of the world championship.
What is your next step and coming main event?
The next step is to train harder to be able to defend my ranking for as long as I can.
I will be playing in Elgouna next tournament and then the World Series in Dubai for the last two tournaments before summer.
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