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Jahangir Khan

Jahangir Khan

Overview
Jahangir Khan, HI, (sometimes spelled "Jehangir Khan") is a former World No. 1 professional squash
Squash (sport)
Squash is a high-speed racquet sport played by two players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball...

 player from Pakistan, who is considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game. During his career he won the World Open six times and the British Open
British Open Squash Championships
The British Open Squash Championships is the oldest and most established tournament in the game of squash. It is widely considered to be one of the two most prestigious tournaments in the game, alongside the World Open The British...

 a record ten times. Between 1981 and 1986, he was unbeaten in competitive play for five years. During that time he won 555 games consecutively, the longest winning streak
Winning streak (sports)
In sports, a winning streak refers to a consecutive number of games won. A winning streak can be held by a team, as in baseball, football, basketball, hockey, or by an individual, as in tennis...

 by any athlete in top-level professional sports as recorded by Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records , is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world...

.
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Encyclopedia
Jahangir Khan, HI, (sometimes spelled "Jehangir Khan") is a former World No. 1 professional squash
Squash (sport)
Squash is a high-speed racquet sport played by two players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball...

 player from Pakistan, who is considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game. During his career he won the World Open six times and the British Open
British Open Squash Championships
The British Open Squash Championships is the oldest and most established tournament in the game of squash. It is widely considered to be one of the two most prestigious tournaments in the game, alongside the World Open The British...

 a record ten times. Between 1981 and 1986, he was unbeaten in competitive play for five years. During that time he won 555 games consecutively, the longest winning streak
Winning streak (sports)
In sports, a winning streak refers to a consecutive number of games won. A winning streak can be held by a team, as in baseball, football, basketball, hockey, or by an individual, as in tennis...

 by any athlete in top-level professional sports as recorded by Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records , is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world...

. He retired as a player in 1993, and has served as President of the World Squash Federation
World Squash Federation
The World Squash Federation is the international federation for squash, an indoor racquet sport which was formerly called "Squash rackets."It is based in Hastings in England. As of 2009 it has 147 member federations...

 since 2002.

Playing career


Family of Jahangir Khan is originally from Peshawar (Peshawari). Jahangir was coached initially by his father, Roshan Khan
Roshan Khan
Roshan Khan was a squash player from Pakistan. He was one of the leading players in the game in the 1950s and early-1960s, and won the British Open title in 1957...

, the 1957 British Open champion, and then by his late brother Torsam Khan. After his brother's sudden death he was coached by his cousin Rehmat Khan
Rehmat Khan
Rehmatullah "Rehmat" Khan is one of greatest living squash coaches and a former squash player from Pakistan. He coached his cousin Jahangir Khan, who is arguably the greatest squash player of all time, throughout his record-breaking career...

, who guided Jahangir through most of his career. Ironically, during his earlier years, Jahangir was a sickly child and physically very weak. Though the doctors had advised him not to take part in any sort physical activity, after undergoing a couple of hernia
Hernia
A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or the fascia of an organ through the wall of the cavity that normally contains it. A hiatal hernia occurs when the stomach protrudes into the mediastinum through the esophageal opening in the diaphragm....

 operations his father let him play and try out their family game.

In 1979, the Pakistan selectors decided not to select Jahangir to play in the world championships in Australia, judging him too weak from a recent illness. Jahangir decided instead to enter himself in the World Amateur Individual Championship and, at the age of 15, became the youngest-ever winner of that event.

In November 1979, Jahangir's older brother Torsam Khan
Torsam Khan
Torsam Khan was a squash player from Pakistan. He was the son of the 1957 British Open champion Roshan Khan, and the older brother of Jahangir Khan, who went on to become arguably the greatest squash player of all-time. Torsam was groomed as a squash player by his father. In 1979, Torsam reached a...

, who had been one of the leading international squash players in the 1970s, died suddenly of a heart attack during a tournament match in Australia. Torsam's death affected Jahangir profoundly. He considered quitting the game, but decided to pursue a career in the sport as a tribute to his brother.

Five-year unbeaten run


In 1981, when he was 17, Jahangir became the youngest winner of the World Open, beating Australia's Geoff Hunt
Geoff Hunt
Geoffrey Brian Hunt, MBE , is a retired Australian squash player who is widely considered to be one of the greatest squash players in history....

 (the game's dominant player in the late-1970s) in the final. That tournament marked the start of an unbeaten run which lasted for five years and 555 matches. The hallmark of his play was his incredible fitness and stamina, which Rehmat Khan helped him build-up through a punishing training and conditioning regime. Jahangir was quite simply the fittest player in the game, and would wear his opponents down through long rallies played at a furious pace.

In 1982, Jahangir astonished everyone by winning the International Squash Players Association Championship without losing a single point.

The unbeaten run finally came to end in the final of the World Open in 1986 in Toulouse
Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

, France, when Jahangir lost to New Zealand's Ross Norman
Ross Norman
Ross Norman is a former professional squash player from New Zealand. He is best remembered for winning the World Open in 1986, when he beat Jahangir Khan of Pakistan in the final 9-5, 9-7, 7-9, 9-1. The win marked the end of an unbeaten run for Khan that had stretched for over five years . Norman...

. Norman had been in pursuit of Jahangir's unbeaten streak, being beaten time and time again. "One day Jahangir will be slightly off his game and I will get him", he vowed for five years.

Speaking about his unbeaten streak, Jahangir said: "It wasn't my plan to create such a record. All I did was put in the effort to win every match I played and it went on for weeks, months and years until my defeat to Ross Norman in Toulouse in 1986."

"The pressure began to mount as I kept winning every time and people were anxious to see if I could be beaten. In that World Open final, Ross got me. It was exactly five years and eight months. I was unbeaten for another nine months after that defeat."

Success in the hardball game


With his dominance over the international squash game in the first half of the 1980s secure, Jahangir decided to test his ability on the North American hardball squash
Hardball squash
Hardball squash is a format of the indoor racquet sport squash which was first developed in North America in the late 19h century and early 20th century. It is sometimes referred to as being the "American version" of the sport...

 circuit in 1983–1986. (Hardball squash is a North American variant of the game, played on smaller courts with a faster-moving ball.) Jahangir played in 13 top-level hardball tournaments during this period, winning 12 of them. He faced the leading American player on the circuit at the time, Mark Talbott
Mark Talbott
Mark Talbott is a squash coach and former professional squash player from the United States. He is widely considered to be one of the all-time great players of hardball squash .Talbott was ranked as the World No...

, on 11 occasions (all in tournament finals), and won 10 of their encounters. With his domination of both the softball and hardball versions of the game, Jahangir truly cemented his reputation as the world's greatest squash player. His success in North America is considered by some observers to be among the factors which led to growing interest in the international "softball" version of squash in the continent, and the demise of the hardball game in the late-1980s and 1990s.

Rivalry with Jansher Khan


At the end of 1986 another Pakistani squash player, Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest squash players of all time. During his career he won the World Open a record eight times, and the British Open six times.Jansher is of Peshwari ethnicity. He came from...

, appeared on the international scene to challenge Jahangir's domination. (Jansher is not known to be directly related to Jahangir, but their families originate from the same village in the Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

 region of northern Pakistan, so they may be distantly related.) Jahangir won their first few encounters in late-1986 and early-1987. But Jansher scored his first win over Jahangir in September 1987, beating him in straight games in the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open. Jansher then went on to beat Jahangir in their next eight consecutive encounters and capture the 1987 World Open title.

Jahangir ended Jansher's winning streak in March 1988, and went on to win 11 of their next 15 encounters. The pair met in the 1988 World Open final, with Jahangir emerging the victor. But by that point it had become clear that squash now had two dominant players. The pair would continue to dominate the game for the rest of the decade. Jansher and Jahangir met a total of 37 times in tournament play. Jansher won 19 matches (74 games and 1,426 points), and Jahangir 18 matches (79 games and 1,459 points). This record doesn't include exhibition matches and league matches between them.

Jahangir did not win the World Open again after 1988, but he continued a stranglehold over the British Open title which he captured a record ten successive times between 1982 and 1991.

World Open final appearances

Wins (6)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1981 Geoff Hunt
Geoff Hunt
Geoffrey Brian Hunt, MBE , is a retired Australian squash player who is widely considered to be one of the greatest squash players in history....

 
7–9, 9–1, 9–2, 9–2
1982 Dean Williams  9–2, 6–9, 9–1, 9–1
1983 Chris Dittmar
Chris Dittmar
Chris Dittmar is an Australian sports commentator who was formerly the World No. 1-ranked men's squash player....

 
9–3, 9–6, 9–0
1984 Qamar Zaman
Qamar Zaman
Qamar Zaman is a former squash player from Pakistan. He was one of the leading players in the game in the 1970s and 1980s. His biggest triumph was winning the British Open in 1975....

 
9–0, 9–3, 9–4
1985 Ross Norman
Ross Norman
Ross Norman is a former professional squash player from New Zealand. He is best remembered for winning the World Open in 1986, when he beat Jahangir Khan of Pakistan in the final 9-5, 9-7, 7-9, 9-1. The win marked the end of an unbeaten run for Khan that had stretched for over five years . Norman...

 
9–4, 4–9, 9–5, 9–1
1988 Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest squash players of all time. During his career he won the World Open a record eight times, and the British Open six times.Jansher is of Peshwari ethnicity. He came from...

 
9–6, 9–2, 9–2
Runner-ups (3)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1986 Ross Norman
Ross Norman
Ross Norman is a former professional squash player from New Zealand. He is best remembered for winning the World Open in 1986, when he beat Jahangir Khan of Pakistan in the final 9-5, 9-7, 7-9, 9-1. The win marked the end of an unbeaten run for Khan that had stretched for over five years . Norman...

 
5–9, 7–9, 9–7, 1–9
1991 Rodney Martin
Rodney Martin
Rodney Martin is a former professional squash player from Australia. He is best known for winning the World Open in 1991, beating the legendary Pakistani player Jahangir Khan in the final 14-17, 15-9, 15-4, 15-13...

 
17–14, 9–15, 4–15, 13–15
1993 Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest squash players of all time. During his career he won the World Open a record eight times, and the British Open six times.Jansher is of Peshwari ethnicity. He came from...

 
15–14, 9–15, 5–15, 5–15

British Open final appearances

Wins (10)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1982 Hiddy Jahan
Hiddy Jahan
Hidayet "Hiddy" Jahan is a squash player who was ranked among the top-6 players in the world from 1970 through to 1986.A serious accident almost killed him in 1967...

 
9–2, 10–9, 9–3
1983 Gamal Awad
Gamal Awad
Gamal Awad was a squash player from Egypt.Awad became the Egyptian national champion in 1976, and won the British Amateur championship in 1977 and 1978...

 
9–2, 9–5, 9–1
1984 Qamar Zaman
Qamar Zaman
Qamar Zaman is a former squash player from Pakistan. He was one of the leading players in the game in the 1970s and 1980s. His biggest triumph was winning the British Open in 1975....

 
9–0, 9–3, 9–5
1985 Chris Dittmar
Chris Dittmar
Chris Dittmar is an Australian sports commentator who was formerly the World No. 1-ranked men's squash player....

 
9–3, 9–2, 9–5
1986 Ross Norman
Ross Norman
Ross Norman is a former professional squash player from New Zealand. He is best remembered for winning the World Open in 1986, when he beat Jahangir Khan of Pakistan in the final 9-5, 9-7, 7-9, 9-1. The win marked the end of an unbeaten run for Khan that had stretched for over five years . Norman...

 
9–6, 9–4, 9–6
1987 Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest squash players of all time. During his career he won the World Open a record eight times, and the British Open six times.Jansher is of Peshwari ethnicity. He came from...

 
9–6, 9–0, 9–5
1988 Rodney Martin
Rodney Martin
Rodney Martin is a former professional squash player from Australia. He is best known for winning the World Open in 1991, beating the legendary Pakistani player Jahangir Khan in the final 14-17, 15-9, 15-4, 15-13...

 
9–2, 9–10, 9–0, 9–1
1989 Rodney Martin
Rodney Martin
Rodney Martin is a former professional squash player from Australia. He is best known for winning the World Open in 1991, beating the legendary Pakistani player Jahangir Khan in the final 14-17, 15-9, 15-4, 15-13...

 
9–2, 3–9, 9–5, 0–9, 9–2
1990 Rodney Martin
Rodney Martin
Rodney Martin is a former professional squash player from Australia. He is best known for winning the World Open in 1991, beating the legendary Pakistani player Jahangir Khan in the final 14-17, 15-9, 15-4, 15-13...

 
9–6, 10–8, 9–1
1991 Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan
Jansher Khan is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest squash players of all time. During his career he won the World Open a record eight times, and the British Open six times.Jansher is of Peshwari ethnicity. He came from...

 
2–9, 9–4, 9–4, 9–0
Runner-ups (1)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1981 Geoff Hunt
Geoff Hunt
Geoffrey Brian Hunt, MBE , is a retired Australian squash player who is widely considered to be one of the greatest squash players in history....

 
2–9, 7–9, 9–5, 7–9

Training regime


In a documentary on himself telecast on GEO Super
GEO Super
Geo Super is the first 24-hour Pakistani channel dedicated to the world of sports. It belongs to Independent Media Corporation, owner of the Jang Group of Newspapers.-Launch:...

, Jahangir revealed that he never had any fixed training regime particularly designed for him, nor had he any specially formulated diet - he would eat anything hygienic but never miss two glasses of milk every day.

For his training, he would often start his day with a 9 miles (14.5 km) jog which he would complete in 60–120 minutes at a moderate pace, followed by short bursts of timed sprints. Later he would weight train in the gym finally cooling down in the pools. He would follow this routine 5 days a week. On the 6th day he would match practice and rest on the 7th day.

He also said that he has experienced running on every surface - from custom-built tracks to asphalt roads, grass & farm fields to sea shores & knee-deep waters. Sometimes he would also visit the northern areas of Pakistan to train in high altitude fields under low oxygen conditions. All in all it made Jahangir one of the most physically and mentally fit athletes in the world.

Awards, services and recognition


Jahangir retired as a player in 1993 after helping Pakistan win the World Team Championship
World Team Squash Championships
The World Team Squash Championships are an international squash competition played between teams representing different nations. Countries enter teams of three or four players to represent them in the championships. In each round of the competition, teams face each other in a best-of-three singles...

 in Karachi. The Government of Pakistan honoured Jahangir with the awards of Pride of Performance
Pride of Performance
Pride of Performance , is one of the highest civil award given and conferred by the Pakistan Government to Pakistan's citizens in recognition of distinguished merit in the fields of Literature, Arts, Sports, Medicines, and Science for civilians in most particular cases.The announcement of civil...

 and civil award of Hilal-e-Imtiaz for his achievements in squash. They also awarded him the title of Sportsman of the Millennium.
In 1990, Jahangir was elected Chairman of the Professional Squash Association, and in 1997, Vice-President of the Pakistan Squash Federation. He was elected as Vice-President of the World Squash Federation in November 1998, and in October 2002 was elected WSF President. In 2004, he was again unanimously re-elected as President of the World Squash Federation at the International Federation's 33rd Annual General Meeting in Casa Noyale, Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

.

Time Magazine has named Jahangir as one of Asia's Heroes in the last 60 years.

Jahangir Khan was conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy by London Metropolitan University
London Metropolitan University
London Metropolitan University , located in London, England, was formed on 1 August 2002 by the amalgamation of the University of North London and the London Guildhall University . The University has campuses in the City of London and in the London Borough of Islington.The University operates its...

 for his contributions to the sport.

Due to his immense and absolute dominance in squash he was nicknamed "The Conqueror" (a loose translation of his first name).

Personal life


Jahangir is of Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 ethnicity. His family originated from a village near Peshawar named Nawakille (sometimes spelled "Noakili"). Jahangir currently lives in Karachi with his wife, Rubina, and their children, Omar and Marium. Musician Natasha Khan, better known as Bat for Lashes
Bat for Lashes
Natasha Khan , also known by her stage name Bat for Lashes, is an English musician. She sings and plays the piano, bass, guitar, harpsichord and the autoharp....

, is Jahangir's cousin.

See also

  • List of squash players
  • Jansher Khan
    Jansher Khan
    Jansher Khan is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest squash players of all time. During his career he won the World Open a record eight times, and the British Open six times.Jansher is of Peshwari ethnicity. He came from...

  • World Open
  • British Open Squash Championships
    British Open Squash Championships
    The British Open Squash Championships is the oldest and most established tournament in the game of squash. It is widely considered to be one of the two most prestigious tournaments in the game, alongside the World Open The British...

  • Roshan Khan
    Roshan Khan
    Roshan Khan was a squash player from Pakistan. He was one of the leading players in the game in the 1950s and early-1960s, and won the British Open title in 1957...

  • Torsam Khan
    Torsam Khan
    Torsam Khan was a squash player from Pakistan. He was the son of the 1957 British Open champion Roshan Khan, and the older brother of Jahangir Khan, who went on to become arguably the greatest squash player of all-time. Torsam was groomed as a squash player by his father. In 1979, Torsam reached a...

  • Rehmat Khan
    Rehmat Khan
    Rehmatullah "Rehmat" Khan is one of greatest living squash coaches and a former squash player from Pakistan. He coached his cousin Jahangir Khan, who is arguably the greatest squash player of all time, throughout his record-breaking career...

  • World Squash Federation
    World Squash Federation
    The World Squash Federation is the international federation for squash, an indoor racquet sport which was formerly called "Squash rackets."It is based in Hastings in England. As of 2009 it has 147 member federations...

  • List of Pakistanis

External links