Promising Pernia Khan of Wapda setup final showdown against Aisha Sherjeel in the final after upsetting three-time national champion Raheela Kashif in the first semi-final of the Youth Empowerment National Masters Cup Table Tennis being played here at Olympian Lala Rafique sports Arena on Saturday.
Director General Army Sports Control board and former International hockey player Brig. Zaheer Akhtar was the chief guest on this occasion who witnessed the two semi-finals. Senior Vice President KP Badminton Association Kifayat Ullah Orakzai, District Sports Officer Peshawar Tehseen Ullah Khan, Youth Ambassador of US Embassy Islamabad Abar Ali, players and spectators were also present.
Peshawar proved good for Pernia Khan, who played her second final after recording victory last month in the U16 National Junior Championship organized jointly by Directorate of Sports KP and KP Table Tennis Association.
Pernia Khan upset her veteran rival Raheela Kashif in the thrilling semi-final lasting for one hour and 10 minutes, the score was 13-11, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11 and 13-11 (4-1). Parnia Khan won the first set and failed to click in the second set won by her strong rival won by Raheela Kashif. When the set tally was locked 1-1, Pernia staged a strong comeback with her elegant backhand forehand smashes, with excellent spin serve by winning three consecutive sets to reach the grand final against Aisha Sherjeel.
In the second semi-final Aisha Sherjeel defeated Mehmooda Haider, a former national team player, by 4-1, the score was 13-11, 9-11, 7-11, 11-6, 13-11 and 11-7. Mehmooda Haider’s daughter and son are the current top ranking players in the U18 and U15 categories.
Earlier, in the quarter-final Pernia Khan upset seven times champion Shabnam Bilal, in a thrilling 4-1, the score was 11-13, 11-13, 11-9, 13-11, 11-7 and 14-12. In another quarter-final Aisha Sherjeel beat Sanam Yaseem by 4-1, the score was 11-9, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9 and 13-11, Raheela Kashif beat Ausha Fahim by 4-1 and Mehmooda Haider beat Sana Muzafar by 4-1.
In the Men singles, Shah Khan of Pakistan Wapda and current national champion Faizan Zahoor of Pakistan Army took berth into the final. Top seeded Shah Khan, hailing from Swat, defeated Abdur Rahim in a thrilling match by 4-3, the score was 11-9, 5-11, 9-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-7, and 11-9 and moved into the final. In the other semi-final Asim Qurashi got a walk over against Asim Qurashi, who got injured and left the semi-final clash.
Earlier, in the Men singles quarter-finals Shah Khan beat Hafeez Ur Rehman of Wapda by 4-1, Asim Qurashi upset Fahad Khawjah by 4-2, Faizan Zahoor recorded victory against Haseeb Khan by 4-2 and Abdur Rahim beat Abdullah Nazir by 4-1. The final of the female and male singles categories would be played on Sunday.—APP