By Fazal Khaliq
MINGORA: Peshawar’s Mehwish Abdullah won the 2019 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Women Badminton Championship after beating Abbottabad’s Kayenat Raees by 21-14, 18-21 and 21-18.
In the double category, however, Abbottabbad duo Kayenat Raees and Alia Gul defeated Peshawar’s duo Mehwish Abdullah and Iqra Ishaq by 21-14, 17-21 and 21-10.
In the first ever provincial event for women in Swat more than 20 badminton players from across the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participated which was organized by Swat Badminton Association in collaboration with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sports Directorate. Deputy Commissioner Swat Saqib Raza was the chief guest in the final ceremony.
The provincial event is the first ever women sports championship in the history of Swat. About eight women teams from the various districts played for the single and double categories events in the championship.
The chief guest DC Swat Sqib Raza congratulated the winners and said that he was excited that Swat hosted the event for women. He announced that after the successful provincial event soon national event would also be organized in Swat.
“We can never make durable development without the 50 percent population by keeping them at home and today I saw that women in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have high talent and skills in the sports field,” he said.
Zafar Ali the president of KP Badminton Association said the successful event proved that Swat and its people were peace loving and civilized where women not only excelled men in educational fields but also exhibited exceptional performances in sports field. He thanked national coach Hayatullah Khan and KP secretary of the badminton association Muhammad Amjad for their cooperation.
Mehwish Abdullah the new champion of the KP said that she had a tough training for the championship and worked hard to win the title. “I am excited to become the new champion of the KP in badminton. I will continue my straining and will play for my country on international level,” she said.
Other women players of badminton from across the KP said that they were excited to play professional badminton championship in the scenic Swat valley.
Neelum Faqir and Maria Khatoon who represent district Bannu in the championship said that they dreamt of visiting Swat valley because it was famous for its natural beauty. “We are excited and enthusiastic to come to Swat for the first time for badminton and playing amid beautiful and healthy environment gave us much more,” they said.
Malaika and Shabana the two emerging badminton players from district Swat said that they were surprisingly happy to have a provincial event for the first time in history Swat.
“Playing in our home ground not only boosted our confidence but we also learnt a lot from the professional players which will help polish our sports skill in future,” they said.
The players expected that more such events for women would be organized in Swat which would not only promote the sports talent in women but also would send positive message to the world.
Trophies and cash awards were handed to the winners and runner ups of the championship.