Top seeded Alja Tariq of Army and Hina Khan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with two others Summaiya (Army) and Amal Munib (Punjab) took berth into the semi-finals of the ongoing National Junior Boys and Girls Badminton Championship being played at Abbottabad Sports Complex on Sunday. Alja, a promising player, did not face any hardship while reaching to the semi-final in straight sets, the score was 21-6 and 21-2 but it is for the first time that a player from KP Hina Khan moved to the semi-final after facing tough resistance from Sarwat Fatima of Balochistan in a marathon three sets battle, the score was 23-21, 19-21 and 21-19. Both Hina and Sarwat Fatima of Balochistan gave each other a tough fight and some good game was also witnessed in the quarter-final continued for 59th minute.
Fatima was nearing to win the first set when she was leading by 5-9, 12-17, 17-19 and 18-20 but from that Hina came back strongly and saved two set points by leveling the tally at 19-19, 20-20 and 21-all before winning the set by 23-21. She was struggling hard right in the outset of the first set as she tied the tally all the time at 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 9-9, 13-13, 15-15, 17-17, 19-19, 20-20 and 21-21. Fatima of Balochistan also played well and had in the lead all the time but Hina came from behind and won the set at 23-21.
After victory in the first set along with the cheering support of the teammates Hina proved her worth and won the quarter-final by 19-21 and 21-19. She failed to click in the second set when Sarwat Fatima won the second set but again came back and marched into victory in the decisive set. “I will try to win my semi-final as I’m working hard and thanks to my coaches Nadeem Khan and Hayat Ullah who had their hard work with me during the training,” Hina Khan told APP in a post match talks. In the other two quarter-finals Summaiya Tariq (Army) beat Kayinat Gul (KP) 21-12 and 21-06. Summaiya dominated the match and did not give much time to Kayinat Gul to strike back. In the last quarter-final Amal Munib (Punjab) beat Sana Hanif (Sind) by 21-06 and 21-04. In the girls Under-18 doubles, the KP pair Sadaf and Hina Khan proved their worth and reached to the semi-finals after handing an upsetting defeat to strong Punjab pair Tauaba Shafique and Mehru Un Nisa in straight sets, the score was 21-19 and 21-19.
Alja and Smaya of Army beat Sana Hanif and Zoha Khan of Sindh by 21-18 and 21-19, Kainat and Fatima Gul beat Dina and Hina Bilal of KP by 21-18 and 21 19 and Aman Munib and Amaniya of Punjab beat Zohra and Irum of Balochistan by 21-17 and 21-17. In the Boys U-16 quarter-finals, Raja Hasan (Punjab) beat Hamza Gul (KP) 21-19, 20-22 and 21-19, young promising Mekaeel (KP) beat Abdullah Asim (Punjab) 21-14 and 21-19, Haseeb Ahmad (Punjab) beat M. Ibraheem (ISB) 21-16 and 21-19, Umar Jahngeer (KP) beat Saad Amir (Punjab) 21-11 and 21.09 and moved to the semi-finals. In the Boys U-14 quarter-finals singles Malik Ghasif Raza (Punjab) beat Ali Zain (Sindh) 21-05, 21-09, Ibraheem (Punjab) beat Sameer (KP) 21-13, 12-17, Amir Janjua (Army) beat Hashir (KP) 21-15, 21-19, Saifullah (KP) beat Sgawal Shafiq (Punjab) 21-11, 21-07 and moved to the semi-finals. In the Boys U-18 Single quarter-finals Raja Zulqarnain (NBP) beat Obaid Khalid (Punjab) 21-19, 21-12, Uzair Khan (KP) beat Malik Danyal (KP) 23-25, 21-19 and 21-19, M. Taimur (KP) beat Raza Ali Adil (Punjab) 19-21, 21-13, 21-16, Qari Adnan (KP) beat Tahseen Shazad (Punjab) 21-08, 21-08 and moved to the semi-finals. In the Boys doubles U-18 quarter-finals Raja Zulqarnain and Ali Raza (Punjab) beat Ahmad Saif and M Taha (Sindh) 21-13 and 21-19, Shahan Ullah and Taimur (KP) beat Shazaib and Rafay (Army) 19-21, 21-17 and 21-10, Malik Daniyal and Uzair Khan (KP) beat Asad Tahir and Tahseen (Punjab) and Qari Adnan and Zubair (KP) beat Riyan and Sufayan (Sindh) and moved to the semi-finals.—APP