Marwan Elshorbagy celebrates after beating Miguel Angel Rodriguez in February's Colombia Open
Marwan Elshorbagy Opens Up To Canarywharfsquash
Elshorbagy brothers Mohamed and Marwan, the World No.1 and No.11, respectively, have taken the squash world by storm over the past 18 months as they’ve ascended to the top of the world rankings and, in a recent interview with Alan Thatcher at Canarywharfsquash, younger brother Marwan spoke candidly about life in Egypt, residing in England and his admiration for his brother.
Despite both men residing at the top of the rankings, their journey from childhood squash in their birthplace of Alexandria to living full-time in Bristol, England and lighting up the PSA World Tour has been far from straight-forward.
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“Squash in Egypt is big, when you go to a local tournament in Egypt you will find 200 kids competing only in the under-11’s category,” said 22-year-old Marwan.
“So imagine 200 kids with their parents and coaches in every category. As a kid you go through a lot at a young age – the atmosphere at tournaments is very competitive an you have to work hard every time to try and make it.
“For me, things were a little different as I have been living in England for the past nine years and when I moved here I wasn’t a top junior talent in Egypt. I feel squash in England is the main reason why I have made it to the top ten.
“I trained at Millfield School in Somerset under Jonah Barrington and Ian Thomas for four or five years and then moved to Bristol where I have been working with Hadrian Stiff for a long time. So I have always had English coaches and I feel that without them I wouldn’t be in this position.”
Now in their adopted hometown, the brothers live together alongside a host of other up-and-coming squash players such as James Peach, Josh Masters, Antonio de la Torre, and Hakon Standos where they have fostered a community of their own away from the country of their birth.
“To be honest, I feel very lucky to live in a city like Bristol. I feel at home there and I feel we are all a family to each other,” he said.
“I have known all these guys for so long and it’s a lot of fun living with them – the atmosphere of training among us all is relaxed and I think living in England and in that sphere has made me more relaxed about squash in general.”
While sibling rivalries are prominent in every household, Marwan feels nothing but respect for his elder brother and World No.1 Mohamed in a relationship built on mutual support and encouragement.
Despite losing to the 25-year-old in the semi-finals of the recent Taeq SquashColombia PSA Open, Marwan maintains a strong bond with his brother.
“My brother went through a lot as a junior – it only made him stronger and stronger,” he said.
“I respect the fact that he went through so much and now he is dominating the sport. I’m so proud of him achieving so much at such a young age. It’s exciting to see how much he can still achieve. I hope he keeps the number one spot for a long time – until I take it from him!”