15-year wait ends as Aamir triumphs

Pakistan player clinches Asian Individual Squash Championship.


Nabeel Hashmi May 05, 2013
Aamir Atlas’ triumph at the individual squash championship follows Pakistan’s win at the team event last year, consolidating the country’s strong position in Asia. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD:


Pakistan’s Aamir Atlas Khan ended a 15-year drought for the country after he clinched a rather one-sided final to triumph at the FMC 17th Asian Individual Squash Championship, bulldozing Kuwait’s Abdullah Al Muzayen 3-0 at the Mushaf Squash Complex yesterday.


Aamir was off to a bright start, tackling al Muzayen with a different strategy and went for winners and dead balls that helped him win the final with game scores of 11-9, 11-3, 11-8.

The win also avenged Farhan Mehboob’s semi-final defeat at the hands of the Kuwaiti who dashed hopes of an all-Pakistan final on Saturday.

Aamir, the world number 61 but expected to rise after his win, was delighted after helping the country to its first Asian title at the individual level since Zarak Jahan Khan became the Asian Champion in 1998.

“It’s an important win because I was looking for a springboard to kickback my career,” Aamir, who was a doubtful starter earlier, told The Express Tribune. “I want to dedicate it to my family and coach Jamshed Gul who supported me at a crucial stage as I got unfit before the event. I want to thank the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) as it extended the squad announcement for a week to give me time to get back in shape.”

Pakistan have been victorious in nine of the 17 Asian Individual Squash Championships since 1981 — Jahangir Khan, Qamar Zaman, Zarak and Mir Zaman Gul winning twice apiece in their careers.

‘Looking forward to more PSA tournaments’

Meanwhile, the Pakistan squash ace said he was aiming to participate in more important Professional Squash Association (PSA) tournaments with the upcoming Hong Kong Open being his main target now. He also requested the PSA to allow Pakistan to hold additional tournaments.

“This championship is proof that tournaments can be safely held in Islamabad. The PSA should allow us to stage more events because our ranking has suffered dramatically.”

Aamir’s opponent al Muzayen, who was completely outplayed, refrained from commenting on his defeat. “I don’t want to say anything right now,” al Muzayen said. When his coach was asked, the official revealed that al Muzayen’s grandmother passed away earlier in the day and the news distracted him. “He didn’t want to play the final because he wasn’t in the right frame of mind. But I told him to play today for the fans and organisers.”

Annie stuns top-seed Low

In the women’s final, Hong Kong’s Annie Au, the second-seed, defeated top-seed Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern 3-1. Annie said her plan worked to perfection. “I had planned not to allow Low to settle down,” said Annie, adding that her stay in Islamabad was a pleasant one. “It has been fantastic and I ‘d love to come back.”

PSF President Tahir Rafique Butt



“It’s time the government chips in to help squash. We’re doing everything we can but different sectors of society should take steps for the country’s sport.”

Asian champion Aamir Atlas Khan



“It’s an important win because I was looking for a springboard to kickback my career. I want to dedicate it to my family and coach Jamshed Gul for all the support.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2013.

COMMENTS (10)

S | 8 years ago | Reply

MASHALLAH

Sam | 8 years ago | Reply

Great work boy!! congratulations and keep up the hard work.

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