LAHORE - Pakistan’s rising star Zohaib Afzal Malik (SA Group) has lifted the silver
medal in the 3rd leg ATF Dushanbe Open U-14 that concluded in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Zohaib was up against strong DanialmoshtaghifardMoshtaghifard of Iran in the ATF boys U-14 singles final. Zohaib though started well and levelled the score at 2-2 but the top seed player then utilized his wide international experience to win the first set 6-2. The second set was identical to the first one, which was won by Iranian by 6-2, thus clinching the title. Earlier in the semifinals, Zohaib beat Marsel Alexeyev of Kazakhstan by 6-2, 6-0 to book a berth in the final. In the second semifinal, Iran’s DanialmoshtaghifardMoshtaghifard defeated Imran Ahundov by 7-5, 7-5. Talking to The Nation from Tajikistan, Zohaib (of LGS Phase V) said: “I am so happy to win silver medal for Pakistan and this time in the ATF Dushanbe U14 singles. It gives me great pleasure to finish the 3rd leg of ATF in Tajikistan and out of three, I won two silver medals so far. Playing international tournaments, representing and winning laurels for Pakistan brings me a lot of pride. “My gratitude to PTF President Saleem Saifullah for providing Pakistani youngsters ample opportunities to play ATF and ITF events in Pakistan.
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This helped them excel in international events and encouraged them to participate in international events. Now besides me, a good number Pakistani juniors are exhibiting their prowess in ATF events and winning laurels for the country. “I am also grateful to my coach Muhammad Khalid and physical trainer Muhammad Arshad for their support and training to play against the best players in Asia. I am determined to play even better in the remaining three ATF legs and bring more laurels for my country. I am glad to have my double partner Mikaeel here and we shall prove our metal InshaAllah,” Zohaib concluded.