KARACHI: Pakistan’s Israr Ahmad crashed out of the World Junior Squash Championship after losing in the semi-final to top seed Saadeldin Abouaish, who triumphed 3-1 in the match played at Bielsko-Biala, Poland.
Ahmad, who was the joint third seed, could not match the pace of Abouaish in the first game and went down 1-0. But he recovered and took the second game as the tie was levelled 1-1.
From that point on, the top seed upped the ante to make sure an upset did not take place. He allowed Ahmad just a single point in the next two frames to triumph with overall scores of 11-5, 5-11, 11-6, 11-1.
Former Pakistan player Gogi Alauddin, who is the current head coach of Punjab Squash Federation, termed Ahmad’s journey to the semi-final as a great omen for Pakistan.
“I feel it’s a great achievement for Pakistan that Ahmad reach the semi-finals of the world junior championship because it suggests we still have top talent at junior level,” Gogi, who regularly trains Ahmad, told The Express Tribune.
“Now the next stage will be how we groom these young players and provide them enough opportunities to compete at the top level. It’s no lesser achievement for me and we should be proud of it.”