Pakistan aim to reclaim lost glory at Asian Squash meet

Islamabad, April 25 (IANS) Pakistani squash players have vowed to win the title at the 17th Asian Championships to be held here next month.

Pakistan’s former national champion Farhan Mahboob Wednesday said all the players were going through tough training sessions, Xinhua reports.

“We have never gone through such hard training in our life before,” said Mahboob during a practice session at the Mashaf Squash Complex here.

“The camp helped me a lot in overcoming minor fitness problems. I am anxiously waiting for the prestigious event and preparing hard to win glory for my country.”

Before the training camp in Islamabad, Pakistan’s squash body PSF selected a group of top players and sent them to army training and fitness centre in northwestern city of Abbottabad last month.

“It was very tough and army style drills but I am happy as these have improved my stamina and I am feeling a great improvement in mental and physical fitness,” said Mahboob.

According to PSF officials, so far nine teams including Malaysia, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq and Jordon have confirmed their participation in the championship scheduled May 1-5. Indian players, however, are unlikely to take part in the event.

PSF hoped that over 40 men and women players would feature in the five-day competition.

The event got a blow when Malaysian world No.1 player Nicol David announced she would skip the event owing to her ongoing preparations for her title defence at the prestigious British Open in Hull from May 20 to 26.

Pakistan women’s team was strengthened after its No.1 player Maria Toor Pakay reached Islamabad from Canada and joined the training camp.

Pakistan dominated the field of squash for four decades during last century but now the country is desperately searching its lost glory by arranging events at home. Currently, Pakistan’s only three players are among the top 100 in world rankings.

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