x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Mohsin tests himself with competition

Mubarak Mohsin, 17, faces two testing periods in the next week. One will be his intermediate exams. The other will be the squash competition he'll face in the Super Division of the Abu Dhabi Open.

Mubarak Mohsin is juggling sports with studies.
Mubarak Mohsin is juggling sports with studies.

ABU DHABI // Mubarak Mohsin, the top junior squash player in the country, is facing a balancing act between his passion and his studies ahead of the capital's premier squash championship.

The 17 year old from Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Arab Pakistan School in Abu Dhabi will have to sit intermediate examinations of the Federal Board of Islamabad over the same period as the Abu Dhabi Open at the Beach Rotana Hotel, which begins on Wednesday and runs until June 4.

"It is difficult but I want to do both, do well in my studies and take part in the Abu Dhabi Open, even if I am underprepared for the competition," said Mohsin, whose confidence is at a new high after a 3-2 quarter-final victory over Aamir Khan, two years his senior and the No 1 player in Abu Dhabi, in the Hayya PSA Open at the Lakes Club in Dubai last month. "I can take a lot of confidence from that result but at the same time I must continue to work hard to achieve my goals.

"My preparation for the Abu Dhabi Open will be slightly disrupted because my exams will not end until June 6. But I hope I can still be competitive enough and also use this tournament as a good warm up before I travel to Germany and Holland," where he will compete in the Under 19 age group at the German Open and the Dutch Open in July.

Mohsin will be one of the fancied players in the Super Division in Abu Dhabi, along with Aamir and Dubai's Asif Khan, the winner of the Hayya Open, and Alex Preston.

Other categories are Divisions 1, 2 and 3, a division for the Under 15s and another for players over the age of 45.

"We expect more than 100 entries in the categories and some exciting matches, particularly in the Super Division," said Mabrouk al Nahdy, the chairman of the Abu Dhabi Squash Racquets Association.

The Abu Dhabi Open has been staged without any interruption for nearly three decades and big names such as Pakistanis Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan, England's Peter Nicol and Ross Norman from New Zealand have played exhibition matches at the event in the past.