World #1 and top seed Laura Massaro of England was upset by 20-year old Egyptian Nour El Sherbini in the title match of the Women's World Open Squash Championship in Kuala Lumpur, despite being two games up to start. For El Sherbini, she becomes the youngest-ever world champion and will rise to the top ranking after entering the tournament as the fifth seed. Hometown favorite - and previous youngest-ever champion from 2005 - Nicol David of Malaysia finished her run in the quarterfinals at the hands of El Sherbini. David had been the second seed. Egypt also enjoyed both of the two bronze medals, as Nouran Gohar and Raneem El Weleily made the semifinals.
Russia Wins World Fencing Titles
In one of the more ridiculous effects of the IOC trying to cap the number of athletes, fencing is limited to ten medal events at any Olympics. So, each quadrennial, fencing's FIE rotates out a men's and women's team event to sit out the Games. And then, the Olympic year's fencing world championships feature those two events - and only those two. And, adding insult - the 2016 championships were held in Rio as a test event for the Games. This year, the unfortunate team events held were men's sabre and women's foil. Russa emerged the winner in both, with Hungary and Romania rounding out the podium on the men's sabre side and Italy and France on the women's foil. Twenty men's sabre and thirteen women's foil teams participated.
At the European Badminton Championships in La Roche Sur Yon, France, Denmark swept four of the five titles on hand to lead the way for European badminton. The eleven Danish medals included titles for Viktor Axelsen over Jan Jorgensen in men's singles, and a sweep of the three doubles titles (men's, women's, and mixed). Danish strength is so deep that they won four medals in doubles competitions - not including the golds. The one title to escape was, as expected, by Spain's world champion Carolina Marin in the women's singles competition. Although, Denmark did win both bronze medals there. With three medals, the Netherlands finished in second place on the overall medal table, with England securing two bronzes for third place.
While China Dominates in Asia
At the same time, the Badminton Asia Championships were held in Wuhan, with China securing the overall medal table with seven medals. Chinese titles came in women's singles and mixed doubles, marking China the only nation with multiple golds. South Korea finished with five medals, including gold in men's doubles, with Japan earning three overall medals, including both the gold and silver in women's doubles. Notably, China was shut out off the podium in that event, while overall, Malaysia (one overall medal), India (one), and Indonesia (two) all made their mark on various podiums as well.
And at Weightlifting, Too
China, as well, topped the medal table at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent this week - winning twelve total medals across men's and women's competitions combined to lead the continent. Thailand finished second with seven, while both Iran and Taiwan finished with four. (um, if Iran devoted resources to women's weightlifting they'd probably give China a good run...) In all, fifteen nations won at least one medal, including the Philippines and Mongolia. The event also served as an Olympic qualifier.