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SQUASH - Int News 29 Jun, 2024

Mohammad Hamza wins U19 Asian Individual Squash title
Mohammad Hamza wins U19 Asian Individual Squash title

Khan ousts Malaysian opponent Harith Danial 3-0 in final,  Sohail Adnan earns gold in U13

Abdul Jabbar Faisal

ISLAMABAD: Rising squash star of Pakistan, Mohammad Hamza Khan decorated another feather in his cap by winning the U19 title of the 31st Asian Individual Squash Championship 2024 at Mushaf Squash Complex Islamabad on Saturday. He overcame Harith Danial 3-0 with the score-line of 11-5, 12-10, and 11-9 after a nail-biting contest in the 2nd, and 3rd games of the match.

Boys’ Under-19 started 1 hour and 10 minutes late, as it was to kick-off at 3:40 pm in the four-wall central glass court of the complex. However, local guy Mohammad Hamza started the first game with a bang by hitting powerful strokes and claimed an early lead 6-0, as he was also up at 10-1 and ended the game at 11-5.

Malaysian player Harith Danial showed some resistance by exhibiting nice skills of squash. Despite going down 2-0 in the start, he settled his feet on the court and succeeded to level the game at 6-6, as he went up at 7-6. Mohammad Hamza was looking cool and did not go under any pressure. He leveled the game at 7-7, 8-8, and 9-9.

Harith bounced back in the game scoring two vital consecutive points and rotated the game score to 10-8, at this stage was alarming for Khan, however, he encountered his opponent with courage and finished the game at 12-10 after squaring 10-10. Mohammad Hamza got an impressive lead in the match 2-0, and spectators supported him on each point.

The third game was nerve-jangling, as the Malaysian player Harith Danial got the 4 points leading in the starting and remained behind at 0-4, 1-8, and 8-9. Teenager Mohammad Hamza once again came from behind and leveled the game at 9-9. He won the 3rd game at 11-9 after winning half a dozen points in a row to become the champion. He closed the final at 11-5, 12-10, and 11-9.

Mohammad Hamza Khan said after the victory: “I am happy on this victory and it was a result of my toil and my coaches Fahim Gul and Zahid Gul also worked hard with me and trained for this international juniors squash fixture. Former world champion Qamar Zaman was here and this was encouraging for me. Other legends like squash icons Jhangir Khan and Jansher Khan should come and watch my matches to encourage me. I will work hard for upcoming international competitions and I am hoping for more support from the Pakistan Squash Federation.”

Duncan Chiu, Secretary General of the Asian Squash Federation (ASF) graced the ceremony as chief guest and awarded trophies and medals to the players. Air Marshal Kazim Hammad, Senior Vice President PSF along with Squash legend Qamar Zaman, VP PSF Adnan Asad, and number of players and officials also attended the ceremony.

Results (finals):

Boys’ U13: Sohail Adnan (Pak) beat Huzaifa Shahid (Pak) 12-10, 12-10, 5-11, 4-11, 11-8

Boys’ U15: Shiven Agarwal (IND) beat Muhammad Raziq Puttra (MAS) 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 13-11

Boys’ U17: Nikhelswar (MAS) beat Abdullah Nawaz (Pak) 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6

Boys’ U19: Mohammad Hamza Khan (Pak) beat Harith Danial (MAS) 11-5, 12-10, 11-9

Girls’ U13: Aadya Budhia (IND) beat Goushika (IND) 11-5, 11-5, 11-4

Girls’ U15: Harleein Tan (MAS) beat Lo Pui Yin Chloe (HKG) 11-8, 11-4, 11-6

Girls’ U17: Enna Kwong (HKG) beat Tang Helen (HKG) 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-1

Girls’ U19: Thanussa Uthrian (MAS) beat Akari Midorikawa (JPN) 11-8, 11-7, 11-2