Monday, 9 November 2009

Squash Legends and leading figureheads honoured at Kuwait

LONDON, Nov 8 (APP) Former world champion Jahangir Khan was among leading personalities from the world of squash, who were honoured at the Men’s World Open 2009 Official Championship Gala Dinner held in Kuwait City. The Official Championship Gala Dinner, including a prestigious International Squash Awards ceremony, held on the rest day of the premier event on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour, was staged to honour the achievements of the sport’s greatest players and contributors.

The event, according to PSA media release, was hosted by Sheikha Fadyah Al Sabah, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee. The championship was held in the memory of His Highness Sheikh Saad Abdullah Al Sabah The Patriarch Amir, in whose name the trophy was presented to title winner Amr Shabana who beat fellow Egyptian Ramy Ashour 11 8,11 5,11 5 to lift the world title for the fourth time and joined the illustrious company of Geoff Hunte, Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan in achieving the feat.

Special tributes were paid to four Squash Legends Australians Geoff Hunt and Sarah Fitz Gerald, New Zealander Susan Devoy, and Jahangir Khan, Vice Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee.

“Thank you Sheikha Fadyah and all those who have supported me throughout my career,” said Khan. “Squash is my passion it is in my blood.”

Distinguished guests included IOC Member Tunku Imran, Patron and former President of the World Squash Federation, Dato’ Sani Karim, President of the Asian Squash Federation Assem Khalifa, President of the Arab Squash Federation, Ziad Al Turki, Chairman of the Professional Squash Association, and Tariq Al Owaish, the record ten times Kuwaiti squash champion.

The principal award was the Players’ Player of the Year Award, voted for by the 64 players competing in the Kuwait Men’s World Open. Jahangir Khan presented the award to Amr Shabana, the former world number one from Egypt who became only the fourth player to win a fourth World Open title in the Kuwait final.

Nick Matthew received the Men’s Player of the Year Award: The Englishman returned from a nine month career threatening injury to win the Dutch Open last year. He went on to win the Swedish Open, British Open, World Games and British National Championship in 2009 and reach the finals of the Tournament of Champions, Davenport North American Open and Malaysian Open. Earlier this week, he celebrated a career high world No4 ranking.
“It’s an honour to receive this award from Jahangir,” said Matthew.
“I am very thrilled to have won this.”

The Women’s Player of the Year Award went to Nicol David, the Malaysian who gained her fourth World Open title last month and this month celebrated her 40th successive month as world number one.

Egypt’s Mohamed El Shorbagy was named as Young Male Player of the Year. Nour El Sherbini, also from Egypt, received the Young Female Player of the Year. Aged just 13, Nour won the Women’s World Junior (U19) Championship title in August, becoming the sport’s youngest world champion ever.

England’s Alister Walker was voted Most Improved Men’s Player of the Year. The Player Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Australia’s David Palmer. - APP

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