Aamir Atlas Khan

پښتو :: پښتانه :: پښتونخواه :: پښتونوالی

Aamir Atlas Khan, Abdul Mohi Shah
Published in Khyber.ORG on Friday, September 16 2005 (http://www.khyber.org)


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Aamir Atlas Khan

Abdul Mohi Shah

Publishing Date: Friday, September 16 2005

The young Aamir Atlas Khan, may be the answer to a longstanding question the coun­try sports faces who will be the worthy successor of great Jahangir and Jansher Khan? And when Pakistan will start ruling the world of squash again? The youngster, 14 years and 8 months old, next in line in Khan family stunned world No. 35 M. Essam A Hafiz of Egypt in the prequarter finals on COAS Open on Tuesday and just fell short of springing another surprise on Wednesday against the top seed Adrian Grant for a place in the semis. In a two year time following his entry into the competitive squash, Aamir has made enough impression that could project him as one and possibly the only contender in present lot to whom the nation could look for squash glory in not a distant future.

"My eyes are definitely on the world title in two to three years time. But my immediate target is to win the World Junior Championship to be held in New Zealand in a year time," is what Aamir's future aim is. Borne on July 30, 1990, in Peshawar, Aamir is a student of 9th class in Muslim Public School and a son of former international Atlas Khan. Atlas who played the final of British Amateur Squash is the elder brother of former champion Jansher Khan. He also won no less than 20 international tourna­ments, but Atlas would be remem­bered more for his contribution for training and early guidance to his younger brother Jansher.

As the passion for the game runs in the family, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Aamir inherited the love for the game. "I took the squash racket when I was just 7year old. My father who has great love for the game started working on my techniques from the very start. In my early age, he was my only coach. Slowly I increased the timing of my practice and training and when I reached 11, I used to give six to seven hours daily to my training," Aamir said, an hour after his match with world No 15, Adrian Grant.

It was in 2003 that he started playing competitive squash and Aamir's first assignment was the British Junior Championship. "The Under13 title at the champi­onship was my first ever international crown and that gave me a big push. The title make me realise that I am capable of playing the junior championship," Aamir said. The young Khan went on to win his maiden title within a year after starting playing national ju­niors. During the course of play. he also scooped up the Milo International in Malaysia. "The title in Malaysia gave me more courage as a few month later I have to play the World Junior Championship in Islamabad," he said.

Though not selected as a Pakistan team member for the Team Championship, Aamir went on to reach the semis of the individual event and only lost to ultimate champion. At the beginning of 2005, Aamir led Pakistan campaign in the Asian Junior Championship in India. "I beat the last year British Squash Championship under19 winner Sourav Ghosal in the final." Aamir said his game has im­proved mainly due to the senior camp organised by the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) in Peshawar. "I regularly played against the best of Pakistan players like Amjad Khan, Farrukh Zaman, Naveed and Safeerullah. Playing against these players each day has improved my game considerably," Aamir said.

He said that such a long camp should always be organised near to the place where most of these players study or do the job. "Ever since Jamshaid Gul has started training me, my game has im­proved and I feel I am now capa­ble of playing against the best in the world," he said. The Asian junior champion, however, wants a totally separate coach to prepare him for tougher assignments ahead. "It is no doubt that federation has extended all possible help to me in improving my game and putting me on the track. At this point what I want to suggest is that the PSF should depute a full time coach for my training.

"I know I can do it. What I need is a separate coach who should be with me for seven to eight hours daily. Training with a few other players mean I just get an hour a day and that is not enough," he said. Aamir said he wanted to be in the national team for the World Team Championship to be held in Islamabad in December. "Now my aim is to play regularly in $12,000 to $15,000 prize money tournaments and want to improve my ranking by wining these. Now I want to be a regular member of the Pakistan national team. "I think I can play even seven tough games without breaking down and my other good thing is my ability to pick the ball from every corner of the court. What I lack is international experience and that is what I am after," he said.

When asked about Jansher Khan and his contribution in grooming him, he said, "Whenever, he comes to the court he gives me tips and did train me for a brief period. I also got training from Rehmat Khan ahead of the World Junior Cham­pionship." Jamshaid who is now working on him definitely sees a future champion in the making. "He has all the ingredients to become a world champion. But that is not possible in a short time. It requires a real hard work from the youngster and I think he is serious and want to learn and that is the best thing about him," Jamshaid said.

Grant who is the top seed in the on-going COAS Open says he has yet to see a player of his age showing such maturity. "I am surprise to see his game. Aamir is really a player in the making. I am really impressed the way he takes on his much experienced opponent on the court," Grant said.

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Aamir Atlas Khan, Abdul Mohi Shah
Published in Khyber.ORG on Friday, September 16 2005 (http://www.khyber.org)