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Eventis World Squash Awards

Jahangir presented with honour by Nicol

New Page 9

A delighted World Media Director, Howard Harding, presents the Female Player of the Year Award to Vanessa Atkinson.

Peter Nicol, part of the Eventis triumvirate presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to Jahangir Khan.

Jahangir Khan Hailed In
Lifetime World Squash Award

Jahangir Khan, widely believed to be the greatest squash player of all time, has been honoured with a 'Lifetime Achievement Award' in the inaugural World Squash Awards at the RAC Club in London.

The Awards event was hosted by Eventis Sports Marketing and backed by the World Squash Federation (WSF), the Women's International Squash Players' Association (WISPA) and the Professional Squash Association (PSA).

Khan, 41, from Pakistan and now President of the WSF, received his award from Peter Nicol, Britain's first world No1 and a Director of Eventis.

The award winners were:
* Male Player of Year:
Thierry Lincou (France)
* Female Player of the Year:
Vanessa Atkinson (Netherlands)
* Young Male Player of the Year: James Willstrop (England)
* Young Female Player of the Year: Nicol David (Malaysia)
* Lifetime Achievement Award: Jahangir Khan (Pakistan)
Above: Mark Chaloner, PSA President presents Nicol David with the Young Female Player of the Year Award.
Right: Christian Leighton, WSF Executive Director, presents the Male Player of the Year Award to Thierry Lincou. Compare Adrian Davies look on.

Jahangir Khan dominated the squash world through the eighties and into the nineties, winning a record 10 British Open titles and six World Open crowns. He established a remarkable record - believed to be unequalled in any sport - when he maintained an unbeaten run for five and a half years, winning countless matches in events all over the globe, from 10 April 1981 until 11 November 1986!

Thierry Lincou combines success on court with professionalism and a winning personality off it. Adapting his game quickly to the demands of the new PSA scoring, he captured three major championships, including the World Open, in the last half of 2004 to regain the world No1 spot in January, which he has retained throughout this year.

Vanessa Atkinson won every final she played in 2004, claiming eight major WISPA championships! Recognising the opportunity presented by the retirements of England's Cassie Jackman and New Zealander Carol Owens, Vanessa worked out how to improve her game to take advantage. She moved from No5 to No2 during the season, and has brought to the forefront of women's squash a great head-to-head rivalry with the Australian sisters Rachael and Natalie Grinham.

James Willstrop is both exciting on court and mature off it. A star of the future, the 21-year-old from Pontefract in Yorkshire has brought to the court a wondrous blend of tactics, power, speed and invention - allied to an ability to learn from each encounter. After a much heralded junior career (in which he won the world title) and a successful rookie season on the PSA Tour, he shot from No18 to No5 in the PSA rankings in a single year, and won the Pakistan Open in December to earn his first Super Series victory.

The panel highlighted the fact that there are few women with the same range of technical ability or tactical awareness as Nicol David ... and certainly not at her age. The 21-year-old from Penang reached the finals of three world class WISPA tournaments in 2004, won the Kuwait Open in March and has risen to a career high of No4. Nicol is hugely popular in Malaysia and was invited by her government to carry the Olympic torch on its way to Athens for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.



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