Squash: Victory in defeat for bold Jahangir

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THEY said the most successful player of all time was finished, but Jahangir Khan proved otherwise emphatically in the first encounter between the two great Khans on the world circuit for 15 months in the Pakistan Open final in Karachi.

The 10 times British Open champion's 15-13, 15-5, 15-12 defeat by the world champion Jansher Khan on Saturday was in many ways a victory. True, the younger Khan revelled in capturing the title from his infinitely more popular namesake before his home crowd - Jansher's victory gestures were more animated and extensive than ever before.

But Jahangir, only 29 this month, led 13-10 in the first and 10-8 in the third and had produced minor miracles even to contest a major final. He had played only one previous tournament in eight months.

Jahangir may now play at Wembley again. 'I would like to try for the British Open,' said the Pakistani who has been repeatedly written off after a persistent back injury which even caused him to talk of retirement.

Jahangir this week goes to Hong Kong, where another injury- free performance could increase the worry in Jansher's mind that the legend will return to haunt him again. The younger Khan tried to dismiss it. 'I was very confident of winning after I had beaten Peter Marshall in the semi- final,' Jansher claimed.

The four-game tussle with Marshall was arguably Jansher's hardest match. The British national champion will miss Hong Kong but goes to the Qatar International in Doha next week, knowing that another good performance could establish him in the world's top five for the first time.

PAKISTAN MEN'S OPEN (Karachi) Final: Jansher Khan (Pak) bt Jahangir Khan (Pak) 15-13 15-5 15-12.