Upcoming 15-year-old Laiba Ijaz grabbed doubled gold medals in the women squash event after winning individual and team gold medal in the going Quaid-i-Azam Inter-Provincial Games being in progress at Jinnah Sports Complex Islamabad.
On day first Laiba won the first gold medal in women squash individual category on Wednesday, last, and now recorded another thumping victory against strong Punjab team in the final of the Team Championship by winning second gold medal.
Laiba Ijaz along with promising sisters Nimra Aqeel and Hira Aqeel defeated Punjab team in straight sets. In the first Laiba Ijaz recorded victory against her strong rival Tayyaba of Punjab in straight sets, the score was 12-10, 12-10 and 11-9. There was see saw battle between Tayyaba of Punjab and Laiba of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the three sets battle. Laiba played well and due to her attacking strategy she saved two set points in the first set and three set points in the second before winning the third and decisive sets by 11-9.
Tayyaba of Punjab also played well and was all the time in the lead against Laiba Ijaz but Laiba at the end did not give much change to Tayyaba to bounce back and thus matched into victory in straight sets. In the second singles Hira Aqeel defeated Saleha of Punjab by 3-0, the score was 11-8, 11-9 and 12-10 while Nimran secured victory against Sabgha Ahmad of Punjab in straight sets, the score was 11-8, 12-10 and 11-7.
Talking to media men, Laiba thanked her mentor Qamar Zaman and coach Riaz Khan for helping all the Qamar Zaman Women Squash Academy players who excelled in the Games. She also lauded Hira and Nimra who performed well. “We could not win the Team Championship unless my other team members including Hira, Nimra, Sana and Maira not performed well. They have due share as it was actually a team efforts.
In the Men squash event Mansoor also won doubled gold medals when he defeated Zeeshan Zeb in the individual final while in the Team event KP team comprising Mansoor Zaman, Zeeshan Zeb, Haris, Saif Ullah and Ahmad Hassan recorded victory against Punjab in the final. Overall KP won four gold medals and two silver medals in the Women and Men squash event.
The female coach of KP Riaz Khan while talking to media men expressed satisfaction over the result of the female team in the Games. He said they have been preparing players on modern day training and coaching and hopefully these players would come up very soon at international levels.
Qamar Zaman termed the clean sweep of the women and men players in the squash event is a good and encouraging sign. He said efforts have been taken to provide good coaching to the female players in the female squash academy. He said Laiba is a good potential players and soon she will be among top ranking players of Pakistan. He said Nimra, Hira, Sana and Maira along with Eman are also played well and hopefully they would come up at national and international levels.
In the Men baseball event Punjab defeated FATA by 12-2 and won the gold medal while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recorded victory against Sindh in the position match by 16-3 and got third position.—APP