Annie annexes CAS Int’l Women Squash trophy

ISLAMABAD – Awesome Annie Au of Hong Kong thrashed Malaysian Sivasangari Subramaniam in straight games to become crowned champion of the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) International Women Squash Championship 2017 here at Mushaf Squash Complex Friday.

It was a clash of super fit Ainie and heartthrob of Pakistanis Sivasangari, as the young smiling Malaysian had managed to win many hearts in the absence of local players in the championship. The way young Sivasangari had played in the entire event, it proves that she has all credentials of becoming world champion sooner rather than later. The venue was pack to capacity, as it was filled with VVIPs as well as school kids, who were supporting and cheering for young Sivasangari.

The first game started on slow pace as both the players were trying to settle down and judging each other. Annie was sharp, agile and not in a mood to let the Malaysian any chance to showcase her skills, so she took commanding lead in the game and won it 11-5. It was a close battle in the second game, as Sivasangari matched fire with fire, but soon it was once again Annie, who used her vast experience to down her opponent 11-7.

It was all Annie in the third game, as Sivasangari was looking hapless and frustrated, while the Hong Kong player was just hitting winners and kept the young Malaysian under enormous pressure, which helped her take 4-0 lead and after dropping just one point, she won the third game 11-1 to wrap up easy victory.

Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, who is also Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) president, was the chief guest on the occasion. He awarded $4,021 and winning trophy to Annie and $2,778 and runner-up trophy to Sivasangari. Diplomats, former world champions Jahangir Khan, Qamar Zaman, along with others were also present on the occasion.

In $50,000 Serena Hotels Pakistan Open Men’s International Championship 2017, it will be an all-Egyptian final to be played today (Saturday) as top seed Marwan El Shorbagy and Mohamed Abouelghar booked berth in the finals by defeating their respective opponents in the semifinals at Mushaf Squash Complex on Friday.

In the first semifinal, Marwan El Shorbagy was up against compatriot Zahed Mohammed. Fresh from playing he world championship finals, Marwan was firm favourite to register easy victory, but it was completely different when the first game started as Zahed started on a high note and put Marwan under pressure and raced onto take 5-1 lead. But cool Marwan never showed any sign of emotions and kept on applying pressure and forced Zahed to commit childish mistakes. Despite being still recovering from hectic schedule, Marwan showed his credentials and first leveled the game at 5-5 and then built up 8-5 lead. But Zahed bounced back to make it 8-8, then 10-8 and then saved a game point, but Marwan won the first game 11-9.

It was simply Marwan all over the court in the second game, as Zahed was looking hapless and had no answers to the pace, agility and superb reading of the game by Marwan, who quickly took the second game 11-4. In the third game, Marwan was just toying with Zahed as he took 7-0 lead, before Zahed managed to take 3 points, but it was all he could get from the game and match, as Marwan won the third game 11-3 to register an impressive victory.

In the second semifinal, Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar defeated Hong Kong’s Leo Au. Both the players exchanged top quality squash and fought for each and every point. Abouelghar prevailed and took the game 11-9. In the second game, Leo Au stunned the crowd with his superb speed and top class drop shots to take the 14/12. The third game was also played on a very electrifying pace, both the players applied tremendous pressure on each other, but it was Abouelghar, who won the game 11-9 to take 2-1 lead. It was all Abouelghar, who dominated the 4th game and won it 11-6 to set final date with Marwan.

It was earlier expected that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi will grace the final as chief guest, but due to his important commitments, there is every possibility PSF president Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman will grace the final as chief guest.

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