FAJR International 2008

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Fajr International 2008
Kish Island, Iran, 01-06 Mar, $12k
Round One
[1] Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)
11/5, 11/2, 11/5 (16m)
[Q] SM Hossein Sanaee (Iri)
Omar Abdel Aziz
11/6, 13/11, 11/4 (31m)
Gary Wheadon

Omar Abdel Aziz
6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 (34m)
Yasir Butt

Yasir Butt
9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-10 (2-0) (43m)
Amr Swelim
[8] Gary Wheadon (Rsa)
7/11, 11/6, 11/6, 11/5 (39m)
[Q] Chris Truswell (Eng)
[3] Yasir Butt (Pak)
13/11, 11/4, 11/8 (32m)
[Q] Joe Lee (Eng)
Yasir Butt
11/5, 11/7, 12/10 (31m)
Martin Knight
[6] Martin Knight (Nzl)
117/, 11/8, 8/11, 11/7 (47m)
Rob Sutherland (Wal)
[Q] Eddie Charlton (Eng)
11/13, 11/8, 8/11, 11/9, 11/9 (55m)
[7] Bilal Zaman (Pak)
Bilal Zaman
12/10, 11/3, 11/5 (31m)
Steve Coppinger
Steve Coppinger
6-11, 11-6, 11-10 (3-1), 11-8 (42m)
Amr Swelim
Neil Hitchens (Eng)
14/12, 11/0, 11/4 (25m)
[4] Steve Coppinger (Rsa)
James Snell (Eng)
11/6, 11/4, 11/5 (19m)
[5] Fabian Kalaitzis (Gre)

James Snell
11/7, 11/8, 11/5 (25m)
Amr Swelim

Mohammad Sadeghpour (Iri)
11/3, 6/11, 11/3, 11/4 (25m)
[2] Amr Swelim (Egy)

Swelim Captures Kish Island Crown In Iran


Amr Swelim of Egypt emerged triumphant from the final of the FAJR International after beating Pakistan's Yasir Butt in the climax of the $12,000 PSA Tour squash event in its third year in Kish Island in Iran.


The 23-year-old from Cairo dropped the first game - but fought back to take the next three, surviving a tie-break in the fourth to win 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-10 (2-0) in 43 minutes.


"I'm very happy to win this title," said Swelim after clinching his third PSA Tour title in a third continent.  "The first game was too close.  I changed my game in the second and it worked.  Yasir is a talented player."


The new champion thanked the organisers - and added: "I would like to come again here."

Butt Battles To Kish Upset


Yasir Butt put paid to the all-Egyptian FAJR International final predicted by the seedings when he upset favourite Omar Abdel Aziz in the semi-finals of the $12,000 PSA Tour squash event in its third year in Kish Island in Iran.


The third-seeded Pakistani recovered from a game down to topple Aziz, from Cairo, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 in 34 minutes to reach the first PSA Tour final of his career.


Butt, runner-up to Ramy Ashour in the 2004 World Junior Championship, will face another Egyptian in the final after second seed Amr Swelim beat South African Stephen Coppinger, the No4 seed, 6-11, 11-6, 11-10 (3-1), 11-8.


Swelim, 23, from Cairo, is celebrating his sixth Tour final appearance.

Champion Wheadon Crashes Out In Iran


South African Gary Wheadon, the defending champion, crashed out of the 2008 FAJR International in Iran when he was beaten in straight games in the quarter-finals of the $12,000 PSA Tour squash event in its third year in Kish Island.


The eighth seed from Cape Town, who celebrated his Tour title breakthrough in Iran twelve months ago, took Omar Abdel Aziz to tie-breaks in two of the games - but the top seed from Egypt ultimately prevailed 11-6, 11-10 (3-1), 11-4 in 31 minutes to reach his second successive PSA Tour event semi-final.


Aziz will face Yasir Butt, the third seed from Pakistan who beat New Zealand's Martin Knight 11-5, 11-7, 11-10 (2-0).


The other semi-final will also feature Egyptian interest after second seed Amr Swelim ended unseeded Englishman James Snell's impressive run in straight games.  The 23-year-old from Cairo will face South African Stephen Coppinger, the fourth seed.


The FAJR International, the first PSA Tour event to be held in Iran, is helping to put squash on the map in the country.  "We will organise more squash PSA tournaments in the future and we would like to promote squash more in Iran, especially in Kish," said Mr Gholami, President of the Kish Squash Association.  "These events promote our squash players at international level and help them improve their game."


Snell Upsets FAJR International Field In Iran


Englishman James Snell produced the sole upset on the opening day of action in FAJR International to claim a surprise quarter-final berth in the $12,000 PSA Tour squash event in its third year at Kish Island in Iran.


The unseeded 20-year-old from Exeter in Devon took just 19 minutes to despatch fifth-seeded Fabian Kalaitzis, from Greece, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5.


Snell now faces Amr Swelim, the second seed from Egypt who ended Iranian wildcard entry Mohammad Reza Sadeghpour's chances in an 11-3, 6-11, 11-3, 11-4 defeat.


Seyed Mohammad Hossein Sanaee, the only Iranian to qualify for the event, also went down to an Egyptian - top seed Omar Abdel Aziz winning 11-5, 11-2, 11-5.



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