Wapda’s Muqadas Ashraf shocked top-seed Saima Shaukat 3-0 to lift the National Women’s Squash Tournament at the Hasham Khan Squash Complex in Peshawar.
In the final, Ashraf, despite being seeded 10th at the event, outclassed her opponent 11-6, 11-6, and 11-7 to emerge victorious and also grab the Rs75,000 winner’s prize-money.
“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to win the title as I hadn’t trained for the event,” Muqadas told The Express Tribune. “Even in the third game, I wanted to pull out as I was very tired but my coach had warned me not to do anything stupid prior to the game. But it’s a huge honour for me to beat someone seeded higher than me in the final.”
Nadia Aziz, Muqadas’ coach, said that the winner had drifted away from the sport in the last two years but she managed to convince her to take part in the event and travel from Iran where she is currently based. The title, according to Nadia, will also help Muqadas improve her national ranking.
While Saima got Rs50,000 as the losing finalist, The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Director Sports Khan Zab Khan, who was also the chief guest at the event, confirmed that the prize-money will be doubled for next year’s event in order to encourage more female players to take part. The provincial squash federation’s general secretary Qamar Zama added that a month long talent-hunt camp will be organised for the under-nine, U-11 and U-13 age groups in order to dig out new players.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2012.