Raneem El Welily, Egypt
Egypt’s vice-grip on squash is storied. If you peek the women’s rankings for example, you’ll see that three of the top five all hail from the north-African country and atop sits Alexandria’s Raneem El Welily. Hailed as squash’s ‘most enigmatic’ star, the 30-year-old’s tussle for top spot with friend and compatriot Nour El Sherbini has really captured the imagination over the last couple of years. Considering she last held the coveted No1 ranking in 2015 – a feat which saw her become the first Egyptian female in any sport to become world No1 – it’s a real testament to El Welily’s spirit that she is back on top. One of the most prominent Arab athletes, ‘The Egyptian Marvel’ is set to bring her attacking brand of squash to the court in what will be another fascinating season.
– The Egyptian star is married to fellow squash player Tarek Momen and they have been dubbed as squash’s power couple.
– A fan-voted greatest of all time list, released by the PSA, saw El Welily secure fifth
– The 2017/8 season saw El Welily finish runner-up in both the British Open and World Series Finals before claiming the China Open and US Open at the back end of the year.
Did you know…
El Welily is a massive jigsaw puzzle enthusiast and is a self-proclaimed Sudoku addict.
“None of us know how to be successful all the time or number one all the time. We also don’t know how to always show sportsmanship and mental fortitude when faced with daily obstacles. What’s important though is that we try.” – El Welily, 2016, TEDx Cairo
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