Qamar Zaman

Qamar Zaman (born 1952, in Quetta, Pakistan) is a former squash player from Pakistan. He was one of the leading players in the game in the 1970s and 1980s. His biggest triumph was winning the British Open in 1975. He lives in Peshawar. Qamar won the Pakistan junior squash championship in 1968. On his first trip to the United Kingdom in 1973, he reached the semi-finals of the British Amateur championship. In 1974, he reached the semi-finals of the British Open and won the Australian Amateur championship. In the 1975 British Open, Qamar beat the defending-champion Geoff Hunt of Australia in the quarter-finals, and went on to win the title beating his fellow Pakistani player Gogi Alauddin in the final 9-7, 9-6, 9-1. Subsequently, Qamar reached the British Open final on four further occasions. He was runner-up to Hunt in 1978, 1979 and 1980, and to Jahangir Khan in 1984. He was also runner-up at the World Open four times, losing to Hunt in the finals of 1976, 1979 and 1980, and to Jahangir in 1984.
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Rehmat Khan

Rehmatullah “Rehmat” Khan (sometimes spelled Rahmat Khan or Rhamat Khan) is a squash coach and a former squash player from Pakistan. He coached his cousin Jahangir Khan throughout his career. The partnership led to Jahangir winning 10 British Open titles and a spectacular winning streak of 555 consecutive matches. Rahmat was among the leading squash players on the nternational circuit in the late-1970s, reaching a career-high ranking of World No. 12. He was a close friend of Torsam Khan, Jahangir’s older brother, who was among the top professional players. In 1979, Rahmat and Torsam, who both saw the potential in young Jahangir, made plans to buy a 50% share in a Sussex squash club and bring Jahangir to England to train. However, just when the deeds were to be signed, Torsam suffered a heart attack during a tournament match in Australia and died suddenly.
At that point, Rahmat made a decision to sacrifice his own playing career to take on the challenge of coaching the enormously promising youngster Jahangir. He commented at the time: “I was No. 12, but because of constant injuries I didn’t think I would climb any higher.” Jahangir had considered quitting the game in the wake of his older brother’s death, but Rehmat helped to convince him that Torsam would have wanted him to continue. Rahmat convinced Jahangir’s family to let him come to England to train. In 1981, the 17 year-old Jahangir became the youngest player to win squash’s World Open. This tournament victory marked the start of an unbeaten run by Jahangir which lasted for five years and over 500 matches. Jahangir won a total of six World Open titles and 10 British Open titles during his career. Rahmat has coached several promising players like
  • Siddharth Suchde who played at no. 1 for Harvard and became a national champion
  • Basit Ashfaq who played at the top spot for Trinity and became part of the record winning streak in collegiate sports
  • Aamir Atlas Khan who is the currently the top Pakistani pro player
  • Jonathan Power as a young kid
Other notable students of Rahmat include Dale Styner (Canada No. 1), Sabir Butt (Canada No.1), Peter Hill (Singapore No. 1), Sami Elopuro (Finland No. 1), Paul Carter (English National Coach), Max Weithers, Len Steward, Abdullah Al-Mazayyan, Safir Ullah Khan, Khayal Mohammad Khan, Majid Khan, Farhan Mehboob, Yasir Butt, Khalid Atlas Khan, Farukh Zaman and Maria Toor. Rahmat has also been the national coach of Pakistan and Kuwait as well as the state of Maharashtra (India). Rahmat has also co-authored several books like Winning Squash, Jahangir and the Khan Dynasty and Advanced Squash. He also created a video called How to Play Squash the Khan Way that was released by Virgin Records.
The government of Pakistan awarded him the Medal of Excellence or the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 2005. Rahmat now lives in the San Francisco Bay area and coaches several promising and upcoming US Juniors at Vaayu Squash in Los Gatos, California. Stuart Sharp captured the partnership on film painstakingly as it happened and has produced a documentary film called The Conqueror.

Personal life

Rahmat’s father Nasrullah Khan was formerly the coach of another dominant squash champion, Jonah Barrington. He is the niece of Roshan Khan, and cousin of Jahangir Khan and Torsam Khan. He is married to Salma Agha and has two daughters musician Natasha Khan (better known by the pseudonym “Bat For Lashes“) and actress Sashaa Agha.[1]
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Roshan Khan

Roshan Khan (26 November 1929 – 6 January 2006) was a squash player from Pakistan. He was one of the leading players in the game in the 1950s and early-1960s, and won the British Open title in 1957. His son Jahangir Khan became the world’s leading squash player in the 1980s (and arguably the greatest player of all time). Roshan is sometimes referred to as being the “cousin” of the two other leading Pakistani players of his time – the brothers Hashim Khan and Azam Khan – though he was not in fact a first cousin of the brothers, but more distantly related to them. He was also connected to them by marriage – Roshan’s brother-in-law married a sister of Hashim and Azam’s. In 1949, Roshan finished runner-up to Hashim at the inaugural Pakistan Open.

He went on to win that title three consecutive times between 1951 and 1953. In 1956, Roshan faced Hashim in the final of the British Open (which was considered to be the effective world championship of the sport at the time), with Hashim winning 9-4, 9-2, 5-9, 9-5. The following year the pair met again in the British Open final, and this time Roshan won 6-9, 9-5, 9-2, 9-1 to end Hashim’s six-year reign as champion. Roshan made a third British Open final appearance in 1960, when he lost to Azam 9-1, 9-0, 9-0.
Roshan also won the US Open three times and the Canadian Open twice. Roshan had three sons – Torsam Khan (Hassan Khan)and Jahangir Khan – both Torsam and Jahangir were groomed by Roshan to become top international squash players. Torsam reached a career-high ranking on World No. 13 in 1979, when he died of a heart attack while playing a tournament match in Australia at the age of 27. In the wake of Torsam’s death, Jahangir considered quitting the game, but instead decided to pursue a career in the sport as a tribute to his brother. He went on to achieve unprecedented heights within the game – capturing ten British Open titles, six World Open titles, and enjoying a five-year unbeaten run which stretched to over 500 matches.
Roshan Khan died on 6 January 2006 in Karachi.
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Jahangir Khan

Jahangir Khan, HI, (born 10 December 1963, in Karachi, Pakistan[1]) (sometimes spelled “Jehangir Khan“) is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan, who is considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game.[2][3][4] Jahangir Khan is originally from Neway Kelay, Peshawar.[5] During his career he won the World Open six times and the British Open a record ten times. From 1981 to 1986, he was unbeaten in competitive play. During that time he won 555 games consecutively, the longest winning streak by any athlete in top-level professional sports as recorded by Guinness World Records.[6] He retired as a player in 1993, and has served as President of the World Squash Federation from 2002 to 2008, when he became Emeritus President.

Playing career

Jahangir was coached initially by his father, Roshan, the 1957 British Open champion, then by his late brother Torsam. After his brother’s sudden death he was coached by his cousin Rehmat Khan, who guided Jahangir through most of his career. Jahangir was a sickly child and physically very weak. Though the doctors had advised him not to take part in any sort of physical activity, after undergoing a couple of hernia operations his father let him play and try out their family game.[verification needed]In 1979, the Pakistan selectors decided not to select Jahangir to play in the world championships in Australia, judging him too weak from a recent illness.[verification needed] Jahangir decided instead to enter the World Amateur Individual Championship and, at the age of 15, became the youngest-ever winner of that event.[verification needed]In November 1979, Jahangir’s older brother Torsam, who had been one of the leading international squash players in the 1970s, died suddenly of a heart attack during a tournament match in Australia. Torsam’s death profoundly affected Jahangir. He considered quitting the game, but decided to pursue a career in the sport as a tribute to his brother.[verification needed]

Five-year unbeaten run

In 1981, when he was 17, Jahangir became the youngest winner of the World Open, beating Australia’s Geoff Hunt (the game’s dominant player in the late-1970s) in the final.[verification needed] That tournament marked the start of an unbeaten run which lasted for five years and 555 matches. The hallmark of his play was his incredible fitness and stamina, which Rehmat Khan helped him build up through a punishing training and conditioning regime. Jahangir was quite simply the fittest player in the game, and would wear his opponents down through long rallies played at a furious pace. In 1982, Jahangir astonished everyone by winning the International Squash Players Association Championship without losing a single point.[verification needed]
The unbeaten run finally came to end in the final of the World Open in 1986 in Toulouse, France, when Jahangir lost to New Zealand’s Ross Norman.[verification needed] Norman had been in pursuit of Jahangir’s unbeaten streak, being beaten time and time again. “One day Jahangir will be slightly off his game and I will get him”, he vowed for five years.[verification needed]Speaking about his unbeaten streak, Jahangir said: “It wasn’t my plan to create such a record. All I did was put in the effort to win every match I played and it went on for weeks, months and years until my defeat to Ross Norman in Toulouse in 1986.””The pressure began to mount as I kept winning every time and people were anxious to see if I could be beaten. In that World Open final, Ross got me. It was exactly five years and eight months. I was unbeaten for another nine months after that defeat.”

Success in the hardball game

With his dominance over the international squash game in the first half of the 1980s secure, Jahangir decided to test his ability on the North American hardball squash circuit in 1983–1986. (Hardball squash is a North American variant of the game, played on smaller courts with a faster-moving ball.) Jahangir played in 13 top-level hardball tournaments during this period, winning 12 of them.[verification needed] He faced the leading American player on the circuit at the time, Mark Talbott, on 11 occasions (all in tournament finals), and won 10 of their encounters.[verification needed] With his domination of both the softball and hardball versions of the game, Jahangir truly cemented his reputation as the world’s greatest squash player. His success in North America is considered by some observers to be among the factors which led to growing interest in the international “softball” version of squash in the continent, and the demise of the hardball game in the late-1980s and 1990s.[verification needed]

Rivalry with Jansher Khan

At the end of 1986 another Pakistani squash player, Jansher Khan, appeared on the international scene to challenge Jahangir’s domination. (Jansher is not known to be directly related to Jahangir, but their families originate from the same village in the Peshawar region of northern Pakistan, so they may be distantly related.[verification needed]) Jahangir won their first few encounters in late-1986 and early-1987. But Jansher scored his first win over Jahangir in September 1987, beating him in straight games in the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open. Jansher then went on to beat Jahangir in their next eight consecutive encounters and capture the 1987 World Open title.[verification needed]
Jahangir ended Jansher’s winning streak in March 1988, and went on to win 11 of their next 15 encounters. The pair met in the 1988 World Open final, with Jahangir emerging the victor.[verification needed] But by that point it had become clear that squash now had two dominant players. The pair would continue to dominate the game for the rest of the decade. Jansher and Jahangir met a total of 37 times in tournament play. Jansher won 19 matches (74 games and 1,426 points), and Jahangir 18 matches (79 games and 1,459 points). This record doesn’t include exhibition matches and league matches between them.[verification needed]Jahangir did not win the World Open again after 1988, but he continued a stranglehold over the British Open title which he captured a record ten successive times between 1982 and 1991.

Training regime

In a documentary on himself telecast on GEO Super, Jahangir revealed that he never had any fixed training regime particularly designed for him, nor had he any specially formulated diet – he would eat anything hygienic but never miss two glasses of milk every day. For his training, he would often start his day with a 9-mile (14 km) jog which he would complete in 60–120 minutes at a moderate pace, followed by short bursts of timed sprints. Later he would weight train in the gym finally cooling down in the pools. He would follow this routine 5 days a week. On the 6th day he would match practice and rest on the 7th day.[verification needed]He also said that he has experienced running on every surface – from custom-built tracks to asphalt roads, grass & farm fields to sea shores & knee-deep waters. Sometimes he would also visit the northern areas of Pakistan to train in high altitude fields under low oxygen conditions.[verification needed] All in all it made Jahangir one of the most physically and mentally fit athletes in the world.[verification needed]
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