Aamir Atlas Khan wins Asian squash championship
Karachi: Pakistan`s top seeded player, Aamir Atlas Khan won the Asian Squash individual championship for the first time in 14 years when he beat Kuwait`s Abdullah Al Mezayan in straight sets in Islamabad.
Pakistan had last won the Asian individual title in 1998, but since then has only been able to win the Asian team title in the last Asiad.
Aamir produced a virtuoso performance that reminded one of the golden years of Pakistan squad when Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan sweeped through several world titles on the international circuit.
He triumphed over Al Mezayan 11-9, 11-3, 11-8.
Speaking after the final, Khan said Sunday’s victory was the result of his hard work.
"I am very happy and I am sure that after this victory, squash in Pakistan will see better days," he added.
Aamir who has had several brushes with the Pakistan Squash Federation and was even banned last year for indiscipline, recently lost in the Malaysian open final.
Ranked 61 in the world, the Pakistani said he was hoping to build on his win and improve his rankings.
"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," he said.
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 during their careers.
In the women`s final, Hong Kong`s Annie Au, the second-seed, defeated top-seed Malaysia`s Low Wee Wern 3-1.
The good news for the PSF was that most of the visiting players from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuwait and China said they had enjoyed playing in Pakistan and would come back for more events.