Squash: Marshall closes gap

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PETER MARSHALL, the 21- year-old British national champion, was yesterday among the eight names announced for next month's Super Series final in Zurich and is likely to celebrate the best year of his career by climbing into the top six for the first time in the world rankings to be released today.

Marshall has thus confirmed his arrival in the group of players trying to close the gap on Jansher Khan, the Pakistani who has aspirations to dominate the circuit as completely as his namesake and compatriot Jahangir Khan once did.

The new year will probably determine whether Marshall can do this. The signs are that the shortcomings in his unique doublehanded style - lack of reach, vulnerability low in the front court and absence of variety - are gradually being overcome. By the end of 1993, he hopes at least to be beating the leading Australians more often.

Chris Walker, the England No 2, has also qualified for the Super Series final, which has prize- money of dollars 100,000, and is likely to keep his place in the world's top 10. A complete contrast to the disciplined, cautious Marshall, the Essex left-hander is still improving his judgement of how and when to use his considerable range of strokes.

Jansher will be favourite to add a fourth major title to the World and British opens and world No 1 ranking he has acquired in the last eight months. The other Super Series qualifiers are all Australians - Chris Dittmar, Rodney Martin, Brett Martin, Tristan Nancarrow and Rodney Eyles.