Pakistan’s two-member squad comprising Ali Bokhari and Tayyab Aslam departed for Wroclaw, Poland, bidding to win the WSF World Junior Individual Championship title which has eluded Pakistan for the last 27 years.
So far 19 championships have been held with Jansher Khan being the last Pakistani to become a world junior champion back in 1986. Sohail Qaiser won the title in 1982 before Jansher.
Recently, Pakistan was given a chance to repeat history, but both times the title went to Egypt. In 2004, Yasir Butt was defeated by current world number one Ramy Ashour and in 2006 Aamir Atlas Khan lost 3-1 to Mohamed El Shorbagy.
However, the youngsters believe they can overcome the odds.
Bokhari, who recently became the Asian Junior Champion, stated his confidence was high, adding that minor changes in his game would further improve it.
“I’m peaking at the right time for the most important event which is a huge plus,” Bokhari told The Express Tribune. “But I want to keep my feet on the ground and not get carried away as I will be competing against the world’s best players.
“The courts in Poland will be new to everybody so it will be a test for all players to adjust to them as quickly as possible. Therefore, no one can be termed a favourite.”
Meanwhile, Tayyab stated that he was looking to improve on his semi-final appearance at the Asian Championship and was confident of excelling with head coach Jamshed Gul accompanying them.
“It’s a big plus for us that Gul will be with us because he wasn’t there at the Asian junior championship,” said Tayyab. “I’ve trained very hard for this competition and have only set my mind on the title nothing else.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2013.
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