ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan No 1 tennis player Sarah Mahboob clinched Subh-e-Nau Ladies National Tennis Tournament ladies singles title after hammering Sara Mansoor in the final here at Pakistan Sports Complex on Thursday.

Sarah defeated Sara Mansoor 6-3, 6-3 in a well-fought final, which swung both ways and the spectators enjoyed the tennis on offer between two seasoned players. Sarah received Rs 50,000 as prize money with memento and certificate, while Sara Mansoor got Rs 30,000 with memento and certificate.

The girls U-10 title was won by Zainab Ali Raja, who thrashed Esha Zia 4-0, 4-0 while Arif Mehmood stunned top seed Afzal Javed 7-5, 6-3 to lift the media category title. Arif received Rs 15,000 cash while Afzal got Rs 9000.

Inter Provincial Coordination Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza graced the concluding ceremony as chief guest. Sharing her views, Dr Fehmida said: “Our females are not lesser than any given international athlete. Sports are way behind in the country and Asian Games results are no secret to anyone.”

She expressed her concern over non-holding of sports activities in schools and said it is very much important to conduct games at school-level. “We will take drastic stapes to ensure sports back on right track. The Prime Minister has constituted ‘national task force on sports’, to ensure sports fields must be packed with youth.”

She also sought media help in this regard and accepted that funds for sports are too meager and very little amount is spent on the athletes. “Athletes are ambassadors of a country. Merit will prevail in every sporting field and no more decisions will be taken on personal liking and disliking. We will take onboard POA and all stakeholders before finalising sports policy. We will revive sports academies in PSB and organise special training camps for coaches and athletes.  “The country has left behind far behind in sports due to terrorism menace. The PSB should have worked in much better manner and not just meant for providing tickets for international events only,” she added.

“Pakistan is lacking way behind in cricket, hockey and other sports and no one will be spared from accountability. I will ensure athletes be given best facilities and won’t allow anyone to play with future of the country,” she concluded.