ISLAMABAD - Zahed Mohamed annexed the $25,000 12th Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) International Squash Championship 2016 title after thrashing top seed compatriot Omer Abdel Mequid 3-0 in the final here at Mushaf Squash Complex on Saturday.

It was a highly unexpected victory by Zahed, keeping in mind the fact that Omer is well-known for his dirty tactics, so with his defeat, justice was done, as in the semifinals, Omer remained lucky first to win the encounter against local hero Farhan Mehboob and secondly, he got away from severe punishment for foul language and smashing his racket on the floor during the semifinal.

Omer started the final as firm favourite, as Zahed was struggling in the quarterfinals and in the semifinals, as he was stretched to the limit by American Todd Harrity. But surprisingly, Zahed showed no signs of tiredness and was playing one of the best squash on offer, as Omer was looking just a meager spectator in the entire final and was clueless and had no answers to the speed and agility of Zahed.

In the first game, Omer was dictating terms and was playing his natural aggressive game, while Zahed was just returning the ball and was running to all corners of the court, but after initial dominance, Omer started showing his weakness and Zahed got benefit from them and won the first game 12-10 in 14 minutes.

The second game was also played on a very high tempo, as Zahed was pushed to limit by Omer, who was trying to keep composure and not to waste energy as he was fast running out of gas, looking tired and was unable to move freely. Zahed was keeping a very close eye on Omer’s movement and was simply enjoying the situation, while the local crowd was also supporting Zahed wholeheartedly, as they had witnessed highly non-sportsmanship from Omer against Farhan Mehboob and was not in a mood to lend support to Omer. Zahed remained focused on task ahead and won the second game 11-9 after surviving some anxious moments in 11 minutes.

It was all Zahed in the third game, as Omer was badly tired and was hardly moving. Sensing the situation, Zahed started toying with Omer, who had a number of scuffles with chair referee M Fayyaz. Omer wanted court boy to clean the court, but Fayyaz refused to allow court cleaning sighting Omer was wasting time. After all his tactics failed, Omer simply shook hands with Zahed when he was trailing 4-6 in the third game and conceded the final. The game lasted only 4 minutes. The highly charged up small crowd, mainly consists of Navy School kids, Navy junior staff and some high-profile dignitaries, rose from their seats and gave standing ovation to Zahed, who bowed down in the court to pay thanks to Almighty.

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Zakaullah graced the closing ceremony as chief guest, while PSF president Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, PSF senior vice president AVM (R) Syed Razi Nawab, Commander North Pakistan Navy Commodore Khalid Pervez, squash legends Qamar Zaman, Jahangir Khan also attended the ceremony along with civil and military dignitaries and squash lovers. Later, the chief guest awarded trophies and prizes to the winner and runner-up of the championship.

It was once again highly mismanaged event on part of the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF), as the journalists were left standing for several minutes, before chairs were provided in so-called media centre, where only one laptop was available and that too was not working properly.

The federation had promised on several occasions in the past not to repeat same mistakes, but as soon as the final arrives, they forget all their promises and look highly busy in taking care of the dignitaries. It is hoped that the PSF president will take notice and ensure next time the things will be smooth as CAS International is just round the corner.