Sisters lead Belgium to first European squash title

The Belgian women’s team has been crowned European squash champions for the first time. Belgium beat England 2-1 in the final of the European Team Championships in Zurich, Switzerland. The Belgian team was led by sisters Nele and Tinne Gilis, who are both ranked in the world top 10.

With its victory, Belgium became only the fourth country on the roll of honour of the women’s European Team Championships squash. England have only lost twice since the first edition in 1978, in 2019 when they were beaten by France and in 2010 by the Netherlands. Belgium previously came very close to breaking England's domination last year, but lost in the final. In 2018 and 2019, they took bronze.

28-year-old Nele Gilis, ranked fourth in the world, beat Georgina Kennedy, ranked two places lower. Belgian Marie Van Riet then suffered a defeat to Lucy Turmel, 173 places higher on the world ranking. It was then up to Tinne Gilis, two years younger than her sister and the number nine in the world. In the decisive third game, she proved too strong for her opponent, Jasmine Hutton, winning 3-0.

"This is probably the proudest moment of my life," Tinne Gilis said in the on-court interview. “My phone is blowing up, everybody is telling me we re-wrote history,” Nele said in an interview with the European Squash Federation. "I'm so proud of the whole team,” she added. “It's something we always believed we would do at some point, but it feels so good to achieve it. I really hope this is a massive boost for squash in Belgium and will inspire lots of juniors, get a lot of media attention and get more people playing the game.”


#FlandersNewsService | Tinne and Nele Gilis © PHOTO AARON GILLIONS/IMAGO

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