ISLAMABAD - Pakistan No 1 ranked squash player Nasir Iqbal clinched the individual squash gold medal while wrestler Zaman Anwar lifted gold in 125kg weight category of the 12th South Asian Games in Guwati, India on Monday.
Until now, Pakistan has managed to win four gold medals, 11 silver and 12 bronze medals.
Nasir defeated compatriot Farhan Zaman in straight games in the final to claim the gold medal while Maria Toor Paki fought hard against Indian Joshana Channapa but lost 3-1 to earn silver medal. In team event of squash, Pakistan defeated Nepal 2-0, Danish Atlas and Nasir Iqbal won their respective matches in straight games, while in female team event, Pakistan beat Sri Lanka 2-0, Sadia Gul beat Naduni 3-1 and Maria Toor beat Methsarani 3-0.
Pakistani wrestler Zaman won gold in the 125kg weight category as he took only 30 seconds to outmuscle Mongno Marma of Bangladesh, while Usman Amjed won silver medal in 94kg weight category. Pakistani swimmer Haseeb Tariq won bronze medal in 100m backstroke, while in mixed doubles tennis, Aisamul Haq Qureshi partnering with ladies champion Ushna Suhail managed to bag bronze medal. In ladies singles quarterfinals, Ushna Suhail also dominated N Wadude finishing 6-3, 6-2 to book birth in the semifinals.
In volleyball semifinals, Sri Lanka thumped Pakistan 3-1. Pakistan won the first game 25-17 but lost next three in a row to settle for bronze medal. It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan players have been dominating the Games having senior and overage players as compare to young and agile Sri Lankans.
Pakistan hockey team Monday carved out outstanding 2-1 victory against arch-rivals India in the South Asian Games hockey event. Both the teams played well against each other and tough contest was witnessed between the arch-rivals but at the end, Pakistan players proved their mettle and registered an impressive 2-1 victory. Arslan Qadir scored brace for Pakistan in 11th and 37th minute while Indian captain Mandeep Antil reduced the margin in the second half.
In the female final, Maria tried her level best to edge out top seed Joshana Chinapa but she couldn’t succeed. Maria won the first game 12-10 but couldn’t sustain her ascendancy and lost the second game 7-11. The third game finished at 9-11 and Maria lost the fourth game 7-11. Maria’s tendency to battle hard until the last moment was an amazing spectacle as she won many hearts and displayed top quality squash.
In the squash final, Farhan Zaman played well against Nasir Iqbal but lost the final. In the first game, both fought for each and every point, but Farhan committed too many mistakes which cost him dearly as Nasir took the first game 14-12. In second game, Farhan started on a high note, but then he once again committed too many mistakes which cost him the game 7-11. The third game was evenly poised as it was 4-4, 5-5, 7-7 and then 9-9, before Nasir played aggressively winning the game 11-9.
Talking to The Nation from Guwati after the final, Farhan Zaman , who lost in the final against countrtmen Nasir Iqbal, termed win or loss as a trivial matter as far as both Pakistanis finished as number 1 and 2. “It was indeed a great day for Pakistan . I didn’t have any fear of failure because I knew at the end of the day, Pakistan will be victorious.”
Regarding familiarity with the opponent, Farhan said: “We had trained together in USA with Tahir Iqbal and Shahid Zaman Khan. We knew each other’s game play. Nasir played well, therefore, he deserved to lift the title. I congratulate Nasir , Tahir, Shahid Zaman , Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) and the entire Pakistani nation.”