ISLAMABAD: Egypt’s Youssef Soliman after registering an upset victory against top seed Leo Au of Hong Kong clinched the winning trophy of the Serena Chief of Air Staff International Squash Championship while his compatriot Rowan Elarby secured women’s honour in the Pakistan International Squash Tournament at the Mushaf Squash Complex here on Friday.

In the final of the men’s event, Youssef Soliman, who is world number 48 and fifth seed in the tournament, stunned top seed Leo Au and world number 20. After losing the first two sets, he made a resounding comeback and won the next three sets comfortably.

After a grueling fight, the top seed won the first two sets, 13-11 and 13-11. But in third set, Soliman with his speed and accuracy did not allow his experienced opponent to settle down, convincingly winning the set, 11-7. Then in the fourth set, he played more aggressively to win with 11-6.

In the decider, he finished in style with 11-6 to clinch the trophy. The final lasted 76 minutes.

In the women’s final, top seed and world number 31, Rowan Elarby without facing any serious resistance from her compatriot, second seed Nada Abbas, who is world number 41, registered a straight set victory. She took only 36 minutes to ease past her opponent with scores of 11-8, 11-8 and 11-2.

AIR MARSHAL Arshad Malik, Vice Chief of the Air Staff, poses with the finalists at the closing ceremony.—INP
AIR MARSHAL Arshad Malik, Vice Chief of the Air Staff, poses with the finalists at the closing ceremony.—INP

Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Mar­shal Arshad Mehmood was the chief guest. He awarded trophies to the winners. Former world cham­pions Jahangir Khan, Jan­sher Khan and Qamar Zaman wat­c­hed the finals and also attended the presentation ceremony.

A good number of foreign diplomats and squash lovers, including school children, watched the finals.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2018

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