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Greatest Squash Player: Jahangir Khan & Nicol David Voted Number 1

Over the last month, we have given squash fans the chance to decide the greatest players in squash history as we looked over the achievements and legacies of some of the most recognisable names ever to take to a squash court.

After thousands of votes from squash fans all around the world, we have now got our men's and women's GOATs.

You can recap the top 20 here:

20th PlaceDon Butcher & Sheila Macintosh
19th PlaceRoshan Khan & Sue Cogswell
18th PlaceAzam Khan & Anna Craven-Smith
17th PlaceAbdelfattah AbouTaleb & Sue King
16th PlaceAhmed Barada & Joyce Cave
15th PlaceF.D. Amr Bey & Silvia Huntsman
14th PlaceMahmoud Karim & Nancy Cave
13th PlaceQamar Zaman & Janet Morgan
12th PlaceJonah Barrington & Rachael Grinham
11th PlacePeter Nicol & Vicki Cardwell
10th PlaceHashim Khan & Margot Lumb
9th PlaceMohamed ElShorbagy and Liz Irving
8th PlaceGeoff Hunt and Michelle Martin
7th PlaceGregory Gaultier and Laura Massaro
6th PlaceNick Matthew and Sarah Fitz-Gerald

5th PlaceJonathon Power and Raneem El Welily
4th PlaceJansher Khan and Nour El Sherbini
3rd PlaceAmr Shabana and Susan Devoy
2nd PlaceRamy Ashour and Heather McKay

In first place….

Jahangir Khan

Nationality: Pakistani
World Championship Title Wins: 6
World Championship Final Defeats: 3
British Open Title Wins: 10
British Open Final Defeats: 1

555 successive wins, 10 British Open titles and six World Championship crowns – Pakistani legend Jahangir Khan has a trophy cabinet that few other players have come close to matching.

Born in Peshawar in 1963, Khan was initially weak physically as a child and advised by doctors not to take part in any physical activity.

Despite this, Khan fought through adversity to develop into a household name, with his 555 successive wins recorded as the longest winning streak by any athlete in top-level professional sports in the Guinness World Records.

Khan was initially coached by his father, Roshan, and then his older brother, who tragically passed away after suffering a fatal heart attack during a match in Australia. Khan contemplated quitting the sport but, in tribute to his late sibling, chose to continue.

Two years later, Khan was lifting his first World Championships trophy at the age of just 17, beating the iconic Geoff Hunt to become the youngest World Champion ever, while he also reached the final of the prestigious British Open that year, again playing Hunt in the final.

That World Championship triumph kicked off his incredible run of wins, which lasted for five years and eight months and encompassed a run of title victories which included four more World Championship crowns and five British Open triumphs.

The streak eventually came to an end in 1986 with a World Championship final defeat to New Zealand’s Ross Norman but it only halted his run of success momentarily, which extended to a further World Championship title in 1988 and five British Open crowns between 1987-1991.

At the end of the 1980s, another Pakistani player – the great Jansher Khan – arrived on the scene to challenge Khan and the pair dominated the sport for much of the next decade and played 37 times competitively, with Jahangir winning 18 of them.

Jahangir retired from professional squash in 1993 after helping Pakistan win the World Team Championships and he later served as President of the World Squash Federation (WSF) between 2002-2008.

That year, Jahangir received an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree from the London Metropolitan University.

Khan was known for his incredibly mental strength and fitness and often started his day with a 14 kilometre run before weight training and match play sessions – all of which helped turn him into one of the world’s greatest ever athletes.

Nicol David

Nationality: Malaysian
World Championship Wins: 8
World Championship Finals: 8
British Open Wins: 5
British Open Finals: 7
PSA Tour Titles: 81

At just 5ft 4in tall Nicol David may be diminutive in size, but her stature and legacy within the women’s squash scene is one of epic proportions.

Rising to prominence in 2001 when she won the World Junior title for the second time, becoming the first player of either gender to achieve the feat, David began to assert her authority on the senior squash scene in 2005 when she won six PSA World Tour titles, including the World Championship, to herald the start of what was to become an era of total domination for the Penang-born superstar.

That victory in the 2005 World Championships catapulted David to the top of the World Rankings for the first time in her career and, after dropping to No.2 for a four month spell later that year, her run of a further six wins including the successful defence of the World title in 2006 would see her regain the World No.1 spot – a position she then held for an unprecedented 109 consecutive months from 2006-2015, becoming the longest reigning World No.1 in squash history in the process to overtake the previous mark of 105 months set by Susan Devoy.

During that time-frame David won the World Championship title a total of eight-times, racking up a 56-match unbeaten spell, while she became the youngest person ever to receive a ‘Datukship’ in her home Provence of Penang. She reached a total of 102 PSA event finals – winning 81 – and won four Asian Games Gold Medals alongside two Commonwealth Games Gold Medals.

David’s reign atop the rankings came to an end courtesy of Egyptian Raneem El Welily but she continued to write new records into the annals, setting a new record for the longest ever run inside the World’s Top 5 at 143-months, and a new record for consecutive months inside the top 10 at 151-months.

Still ranked inside the top ten at 35-years of age, David could yet add more titles to what has already been one of the most glittering careers in all of world sport.

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