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Jahangir Khan Interview

Jahangir Khan Interview

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Published by: nicoldavidonline on May 07, 2009
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07/07/2009

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Q4.08
QatarSport
 
35
As the world’selite squAshplAyers GAther for the qAtArsquAsh ClAssiC, JAhAnGir KhAn,president of the world squAshfederAtion, outlines his visionfor the future of the sport
 Jahangir Khan was elected as President of the World SquashFederation in 2002 after an illustrious  playing career during the 1980s and early 1990s (see above).
Ae a eiod i whih sqash was i deie i some ois adiioa sohods, how is he so deeoiieaioay?
Squash may be termed an old sport in contemporary times - but we have seen numerous developments sinceits creation more than a hundred years ago. We havesignicant growth across all ve continents: the sport isnow played in over 155 countries and there are more WSFMember Nations than ever beore - now 140, compared with 118 in the 2005 IOC Programme Commissionreview!So, while the sport might have levelled out in someo our ‘traditional strongholds’ like the UK, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand, we are enjoying tremendousgrowth in exciting ‘new’ areas o the world like the USA,Malaysia, France, the Netherlands, Mexico and Colombia.Furthermore Egypt, where the sport is second only toootball in popularity, is now a major orce in worldsquash.
How imoa is he Midde Eas as a eio o heomoio ad deeome o sqash?
Te Middle East has become a hugely important regionor the development o squash - the sport is well coveredin the sector and some o the sport’s biggest events arenow staged in the region. We are into our second decadeo major events in Qatar, where the Qatar Classic hasbecome one o the sport’s most prized titles. We also have major championships in Kuwait and,more recently, in Saudi Arabia - and plans are underway or events in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Te SaudiInternational was launched only three years ago, since when the event has attracted live V coverage or squashin the country or the rst time. And, with a prize-und o $250,000, the PSA Super Series Platinum championshiphas now become the richest in the sport
Wha ae yo imessios o he Qaa oame iems o aiiies, so ad weome?
Qatar established the sport in its country in 1984 andhas been able to evolve systems that are sophisticated.Te country enthusiastically supports the promotion o squash. Te upgrade to the [Khalia] squash complex andall related acilities, especially beore the Asian Games in2006, shows the clear commitment to the developmento the sport within the country and its keen attention toquality and perectionism.I have ound the people rom Qatar most welcomingand courteous at all times and I am sure they will extendthe same genuine spirit o camaraderie to the players inthe upcoming Qatar tournament as they have done in thepast. I had the opportunity to play in Qatar in 1993, at theend o my career, and experienced rst-hand the welcomeextended by Qatar people and authorities.Qatar event champions read like a ‘Who’s Who’ o squash - including Jansher Khan, Jonathon Power, PeterNicol, Amr Shabana, Sarah FitzGeraldand Nicol David. Indeed the popularshowcourt at the Khalia Squash Complexin Doha - which hosted the men’s WorldOpen in 1998 - was one o the rstpermanently-sited, all-glass courts in the world.
Who ae he sas he i mih ook oo a he omi Qaa oame?
Egyptians Amr Shabana and Ramy  Ashour, plus Frenchman Gregory Gaultierand Englishman James Willstrop - and inthe women’s championship, MalaysianNicol David and the Australian-bornsisters Rachael and Natalie Grinham. Buto course it would be nice to see all thetop-ranked players in action.
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