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Thrilling Finish For 2004 Qatar Airways Squash Challenge

Doha, Qatar : In a thrilling final to the 2004 Qatar Airways Squash Challenge, the Nederland's Vanessa Atkinson beat the tournament favourite and world's number one Cassie Jackman in three games to one.

Ranked number four in the world, Atkinson won the final, 9/2, 10/9, 6/9, 10/8 in a 62-minute match over a visibly tired Jackman, who had played a mammoth five game semi-final the evening before against Australia's Rachel Grinham.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Mr Akbar Al Baker presented Atkinson with the inaugural $70,000 Qatar Airways Squash Challenge Trophy following the match, the richest prize on the international women's world squash.

Mr Al Baker also made presentations to Secretary General of the Qatar Squash Federation Mr Hisham Al Gosaibi, who hosted the five-day tournament at the Khalifa International Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar.

"This inaugural Qatar Airways Squash Challenge has been a great success, and the final was testimony to the very high level of squash that has been on display during the last five days," said Mr Al Baker.

"The event attracted 32 of the world's best women squash players, and we look forward to hosting the event again next year and supporting international women's squash into the foreseeable future.

"I would like to extend our appreciation to sponsors of the Qatar Airways Squash Challenge - Qatar National Bank, Fauchon, Toyota, Q-tel and QTV.

"I would also like to express our appreciation to the Qatar Squash Federation and the Women's International Squash Players Association, who made the event possible," said Mr Al Baker.

Atkinson reached the final of the Qatar Airways Squash Challenge by defeating England's Fiona Geaves 9/7, 9/1, 9/2 in the semi final. Earlier in the event she defeated England's Dominique Lloyd-Walter, England's Jenny Tranfield and Rebecca Macree in the quarterfinal.

The 2004 Qatar Airways Squash Challenge is being televised to millions of people across North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia.

Doha-based Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is a launch customer of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2010. Qatar Airways moves to the New Doha International Airport in 2010, when the first phase of the new facility opens. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com

Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the fifth year running in 2007 following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com


Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

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