ISLAMABAD

All the top squash players Wednesday returned here after taking part in the Abbottabad training camp where Pakistan Army’s highly-qualified trainers trained them.

Talking exclusively to The Nation on Wednesday, former Pakistan No 1 squash player Farhan Mahboob termed the training under Army supervision as a great and significant boost to the chances of Pakistani players in the upcoming Asian Seniors Individual Squash Championship to be held in Islamabad from May 1.

“I have never gone through such immense training before in my life as this camp gave me a new lesson of life and helped me a lot in overcoming minor fitness problems. I am anxiously looking forward for the prestigious event and preparing hard to win laurels for my country,” he said.

Farhan said these types of camps should be conducted on regular basis for not only top level players but also for the young ones as the youngsters must experience such a fruitful training under highly-qualified fitness coaches of Army.

“We started training at 6am in the morning and the excessive training continued till 9am. Three hours training on daily basis played dividend as all the players who were present in Abbottabad are feeling a great improvement in their mental and physical fitness,” he added.

Farhan said they would start training in Islamabad from today (Thursday) and it would continue till the start of the championship. “We will be trained for one hour in the morning session, in which physical training will be done while at 5pm, we will play practice matches against each other for three to four hours regularly.”

Sharing his views, Pakistan's top player Aamir Atlas Khan described Pakistan chances in the international event as very bright. “In my opinion, Farhan Mahboob, Danish and I have very bright chances of winning the championship. If I will manage to regain full fitness before the start of the event, I am sure Pakistan will end up as eventual champion in the Asian Seniors Championship.”  I am working really hard under the watchful eyes of international coach Faheem Gul and hoping for the nest results in the event.

Taking to this scribe, Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) secretary Abdul Wahab Marwat said: “The PSF has accelerated its efforts for hosting the FMC 17th Asian Individual Squash Championship (men and women events) starting from May 1 to 5 at Mushaf Squash Complex in a befitting manner.”

“Pakistan is hosting an international squash event after a long time and we want to cash on this opportunity and show the international community that Pakistan is completely a safe country for all kinds of sporting activities,” he added.

“As far as the players' entries are concerned, it is highlighted that from the total nine participating countries i.e. Pakistan, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka will participate in both men and women categories whereas four countries Kuwait, Jordan, Iran and Iraq have confirmed to play in men's' category only.”

When this scribe asked Marwat what about India's participation in the event, Marwat said: “India has declined to send their players to Pakistan, reasons best known to them.”