Jahangir Khan

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Jahangir Khan, HI, (born 10 December 1963, in Karachi, Pakistan) (sometimes spelled “Jehangir Khan“) is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan, who is considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game. Jahangir Khan is an ethnic Pashtun, originally from Neway Kelay, Peshawar.  During his career he won the World Opensix times and the British Open 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 by any athlete in top-level professional sports as recorded by Guinness World Records.  He retired as a player in 1993, and has served as President of the World Squash Federation since 2002.

Jahangir was coached initially by his father, Roshan Khan, 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, 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 of physical activity, after undergoing a couple of hernia 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.

Five-year unbeaten run

In 1981, when he was 17, Jahangir became the youngest winner of the World Open, beating Australia’s Geoff Hunt (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.

World Open final appearances

Wins (6)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1981 Geoff Hunt 7–9, 9–1, 9–2, 9–2
1982 Dean Williams 9–2, 6–9, 9–1, 9–1
1983 Chris Dittmar 9–3, 9–6, 9–0
1984 Qamar Zaman 9–0, 9–3, 9–4
1985 Ross Norman 9–4, 4–9, 9–5, 9–1
1988 Jansher Khan 9–6, 9–2, 9–2
Runner-ups (3)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1986 Ross Norman 5–9, 7–9, 9–7, 1–9
1991 Rodney Martin 17–14, 9–15, 4–15, 13–15
1993 Jansher Khan 15–14, 9–15, 5–15, 5–15

British Open final appearances

Wins (10)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1982 Hiddy Jahan 9–2, 10–9, 9–3
1983 Gamal Awad 9–2, 9–5, 9–1
1984 Qamar Zaman 9–0, 9–3, 9–5
1985 Chris Dittmar 9–3, 9–2, 9–5
1986 Ross Norman 9–6, 9–4, 9–6
1987 Jansher Khan 9–6, 9–0, 9–5
1988 Rodney Martin 9–2, 9–10, 9–0, 9–1
1989 Rodney Martin 9–2, 3–9, 9–5, 0–9, 9–2
1990 Rodney Martin 9–6, 10–8, 9–1
1991 Jansher Khan 2–9, 9–4, 9–4, 9–0
Runner-ups (1)
Year Opponent in final Score in final
1981 Geoff Hunt 2–9, 7–9, 9–5, 7–9