LAHORE - Pakistan Army’s Haiqa Hassan and Pakistan Wapda’s Fahad Khawaja claimed the women’s and men’s singles titles in the 57th National Table Tennis Championship here at Nishtar Park Sports Complex Gymnasium Hall on Thursday. 

Fourteen-year-old Haiqa, who becomes the youngest ever national table tennis champion, in her way to the women’s singles final first defeated current national champion Perniya Khan in quarterfinals and then ex-national champion Sadia Falak Sher in the semifinals, played outstanding table tennis in the final and outsmarted former national champion Raheela Kashif of Wapda by 4-1 with the score being 4-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-7 and 11-6. 

Haiqa faced tough resistance from her experienced opponent and after being down 4-11 in the first game and leveling the score 11-11 in the second game, she changed her game plan and started playing aggressive game, which helped her put Raheel under pressure and won the hard-fought game 13-11. Haiqa continued her dominance in the three games and won them by 11-6, 11-7 and 11-6, thus clinched another national title. 

Talking to The Nation after lifting the maiden national title, Army’s Haiqa said: “I am glad to win my first national title in the very competitive tournament and I am looking forward to win more national titles in 2022. But my ultimate goal is to represent Pakistan in international events and win laurels for my country. I am also grateful to my department Pakistan Army for their all-out support and with their great patronage, I am hopeful of my bright future.” 

In the men’s singles final, Wapda’s Fahad Khawaja outpaced his brother Umam Khawaja of Choramatex by 4-2. Fahad Khawaja won the final with the scores of 11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 6-11 and 11-9. Fahad though started well and won the first three games comfortably by 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 but then Umam made his presence felt and won the game 11-6. Fahad once again held his nerves and started playing well, thus won the decisive game 11-9 and also clinched the men’s singles title. 

The men’s doubles final was won by Wapda’s Hamza Akram/Abdul Raheem, who thumped Shah Khan/Umam Khawaja of the same department by 3-0 with the score of 11-8, 11-9, 11-4. Wapda’s Perniya Zaman Khan and Nosheen Waseem defeated Kalsoom Khan and Fatima Khan of Chromatex by 3-2, 8-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4, 12-10 to win the women’s doubles title. The mixed doubles title was claimed by Faizan Zahoor/Hoor Fawad (Army), who routed Shah Khan/Sadia Raheel (Wapda) 3-1; 11- 7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9. 

Secretary Sports and Youth Affairs Punjab Fuad Hashim Rabbani was the chief guest at the prize distribution cermemony and gave away prizes and shields to the winners and runners-up. PTTF Secretary Ahmer Malik, PTTA President Irfan Ullah Khan and Deputy Director Youth Affairs Omair Hasan were also present on this occasion.