ISLAMABAD   -  Uzair Shoukat defeated top seed Haris Qasim 3-2 in 65 minutes in their quarterfinal of the U-19 event at the National Junior Squash Championship 2019 here at Mushaf Squash Complex on Saturday.

In the U-17 category, top seed Asad Ullah thrashed Huzaifa Zahid 3-0 in 29 minutes with the scores of 12-10, 13-11 and 11-4 to set semifinal date with Noor Zaman, while Amna Fayyaz routed Sibgha Arshad 3-0 in just 11 minutes, 11-2, 11-2 and 11-7, to fix semifinal meeting with Komal Khan in the girls U-19 event.

The encounter between Uzair and Haris was expected as one-way contest, as Haris had advantage of international experience. He won the first game 11-4 as per expectations without any resistance. However, the second game was played on a high-tempo, as both the players were fighting hard for each and every point. But it was Haris, who once again dominated and took the game 14-12.

Uzair made comeback in the third game after losing the first two games. He showed tremendous fighting skills and played aggressive squash. His planning worked and helped him in taking the game 11-7. He kept on playing good squash and claimed the fourth game 11-9. In the decisive fifth game, Uzair was not in a mood to give any chance to his opponent, as he kept on building pressure on his opponent. Ultimately, he took the game 11-7 to win the quarterfinal and set up semifinal against Hassan Raza.

In the other U-19 quarterfinals, Hassan beat Zohair Shahid 3-1 in 38 minutes, 8-11, 11-5, 12-10 and 13-11, Zeeshan Zeb thrashed Mohammad Farhan Hashmi 3-0 in just 23 minutes, 11-6, 11-3 and 11-7, and Malik Abdul Moiz beat Naveed Rehman 3-0 in 22 minutes, 11-5, 11-7 and 12-10. Zeeshan will face Malik in the semifinal.

In the other U-17 quarterfinals, Noor Zaman beat Junaid Khan 3-0 in 21 minutes, 12-10, 11-6 and 12-10, Abbas Nawaz defeated Tayyab Rauf 3-2 in 43 minutes, and Hamza Khan outplayed Waleed Khalil 3-2 in 63 minutes, 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 1-11 and 11-6. Abbas will take on Hamza in the semifinal.

In the other girls U-19 quarterfinals, Komal Khan beat Noor-ul-Ain Ejaz 3-2 in 44 minutes, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 8-11 and 11-5, Zainab Khan defeated Nimra Aqeel 3-2 in 37 minutes, 11-7, 9-11, 13-11, 8-11 and 11-8, and Aiman Shahbaz stunned Fehmina Asim 3-0 in 20 minutes, 11-9, 11-6 and 11-7. Zainab will face Aiman in the semifinal.

Pakistan National Squash Academy (PNSA) players could not perform in the championship. The results show that the academy has failed to produce a top class player despite working for years. The academy must induct some professionals for grooming their players. Moreover, the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) must take stern action and seek report about working of the academy.

The federation must ask the academy to reveal criteria of selecting players, details of investment on junior players and progress of coaches. It is hoped that the federation will take notice and seek explanation from the responsible persons.