Hamza Khan qualifies for World Junior Squash Championship final

By
Faizan Lakhani
Hamza Khan celebrates his win — WSF
Hamza Khan celebrates his win — WSF

Hamza Khan on Saturday qualified for the World Junior Squash Championship final in Melbourne, making him the first Pakistani to reach the deciding stage after 15 years.

French player Melvil Scianimanico fought back from two games and match ball down but Hamza prevailed in the decider to qualify for the final.

Hamza won the match with a scoreline of 11-8, 11-4, 10-12, 9-11 and 13-11.

Hamza is first Pakistan player to reach the final of the event since Aamir Atlas in 2008.

Earlier, the Pakistani youngster defeated Malaysia’s Joachim Chuah 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10 to book his spot in the final four.

Hamza reached the quarter-finals on Thursday after defeating Colombia’s Santamaria 3-2 in a close contest in the pre-quarter-final.

Meanwhile, in the round of 16, Hamza beat Netherlands’ Samuel Grates by 12-10, 11-6, 11-3 and 11-7 on Wednesday.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s Huzaifa Khan lost to USA’s Rishi Srivastava and was eliminated from the final race.

A nail-biting contest between Huzaifa and Rishi lasted for five sets. Even though the American won the first two sets 11-9 and 11-8 and all looked over for the Pakistani but Huzaifa fought back and won two successive sets 11-8 and 11-8 by playing valiantly.

However, in the final set, Rishi overcame Huzaifa by 11-9 and qualified for the pre-quarter-final.

Three Pakistani players, Hamza Khan, Moeen-ud-din and Huzaifa Ibrahim Khan, were sent to participate in the championship.

It must be noted that Hamza was the semi-finalist in the last year’s edition of World Juniors where he lost to England's Finnlay Withington while Huzaifa is the former Asian number one in the junior category.