KARACHI: On Thursday the real picture of Pakistan’s table tennis was seen when two veteran players, Asim Qureshi and Shabnam Bilal, reclaimed their men’s and women’s singles crowns of the 54th National Table Tennis Championship which concluded here at the Majeed Khan Gymnasium at Islamia Club.
Both the winners have passed their prime and the way they regained their titles showed that the country has failed to produce talented young players.This was the sixth title for both the players, who represent WAPDA. WAPDA pocketed six out of the seven gold medals which were up for grabs.
In men’s singles final, Asim whacked young Swat-born Mohammad Rameez 4-2. Asim made a fine start when he won the first game 11-9. Rameez fought back superbly, taking the next two games 11-6, 11-5 to take 2-1 lead. But it only delayed the inevitable result as experienced Asim staged a terrific comeback, winning the next two games 11-7, 11-7 to complete a fine win.
Shabnam, a former Habib Bank player, dethroned her teammate Ayesha Sharjeel in straight sets with the scores being 11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5.On Wednesday night in the men’s singles semi-finals, Asim defeated Hassan Haider of Railways 4-0 with the scores of 11-8, 11-3, 11-7, 11-3. Rameez defeated Ubaid Shah of Army 4-2 with the scores of 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 16-14, 7-11, 12-10. Commissioner Karachi Ijaz Ahmed Khan graced the closing ceremony.