LAHORE-International player from Wapda Perniya Zaman Khan has lifted double crowns in the National Junior Under-16 and Under-18 Table Tennis Championships after beating her respective rivals in both the categories at Lala Rafique Sports Area. 

Perniya, who hails from Lahore and plays for Pakistan Wapda, has honour of winning a great number of national junior table tennis crowns and also represented the country in many international events. She is in sublime form and needs patronage of government and concerned sports authorities to further excel at higher level. If the government and sports authorities train and facilitate players like Perniya, they are capable of winning many international medals for the country. 

In the U-16 singles final, Perniya outscored Sindh’s Hur Fawad 3-1 to claim the title. She played superbly and didn’t allow her opponent to play freely, thus succeeded in lifting the title comfortably by 3-1. In U-15, Sindh’s Haqqa outplayed Sindh’s Hur Fawad to grab the title. 

In U-18 championship final, Perniya once again showed her class and outclassed Sindh’s Maria 3-0 to clinch another crown. Punjab’s Shazma finished third in the U18 category. In girls’ U-15 team event, Sindh came first, KP second and Punjab third while in U-18, Sindh finished first, KP second and Punjab third. 

Talking to The Nation after winning double crowns, rejuvenated Perniya said: “First of all, I was very pleased when the junior national tournament was finally announced by KP Table Tennis Association after a year-long break due to COVID-19, due to which all sports activities came to a halt. All the clubs were closed but I continued my training at my home. My Coach, Asim Qureshi, helped me out throughout this difficult time. 

“Teams from all four provinces of Pakistan, and prestigious institutions such as Army and Wapda participated in the tournament. As I was the defending junior national champion, there was a lot of pressure on me to perform well. But I am more delighted to win the double crowns in these championships. Currently I am preparing for the National Table Tennis Championship (Senior) coming up hopefully in January next year while my main target is winning gold medal in the South Asian Games next year,” she added. 

Meanwhile in U-16 boys final, international player from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Umam Khawaja beat Ahmad from Punjab by 3-2. Umam was down and out in the first two games but then he made a tremendous comeback and won the next four games in a row to win the title by 3-2. In U-15 boys singles, Shayan of KP secured first, Haseeb second and Ahmed of Punjab third. In U18 boys singles, Faizan of Army finished first after beating Umam Khawaja 4-3. Basit of Wapda earned third position. 

Director General Sports KP Asfandyar Khan, Vice President of Pakistan Table Tennis Federation Kifayatullah Khan Orakzai, former Director Development Munir Abbas, Assistant Director Finance Amjad Iqbal, Senior Coach Shah Faisal and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.