The national women’s squash team, who completed the group stage with an unbeaten record are set to face South Korea in the team event semi-finals, tomorrow.
Malaysia, the last edition’s bronze medallists, topped Group B after beating India 3-0 in the last group fixture at the Hangzhou International Expo Centre here, today.
Reigning silver medallist in women’s singles event, S. Sivasangari get the ball rolling for Malaysia by downing Joshna Chinappa 11-6, 11-2, 11-8 in straight sets.
However, national number one Aifa Azman had to face strong resistance from Tanvi Khanna before finally notching a 9-11, 11-1, 7-11, 13-11, 11-5 victory after 43 minutes, while Rachel Arnold concluded the match by beating 15-year-old Anahat Singh 11-7, 11-7, 14-12.
Sivasangari said the team was confident of maintaining the winning momentum in their upcoming match as the players are keen to wrest back the team event title, won by Malaysia in the 2010 Guangzhou and 2014 Incheon editions.
“If you want to win a tournament, need to beat everyone. Me and my teammates are going in with that mindset, believe in ourselves and game. When I played in previous Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang, that was totally a different situation.
“Datuk Nicol David and Low Wee Wern were with us then, I felt that I was the younger one there. But this time I need to carry extra responsibilities. Still, I would say, four of us (including Aira Azman) make up a solid team,” she told reporters after the match.
Aifa said, she was nervous in the beginning stage of the match today, but was able to quickly bounce back to tame Tanvi, who showed much improved performance compared to when Aifa won 3-0 at the Asian Squash Team Championships, last year.
The girls previously beat Nepal, Pakistan and Macao 3-0 to top the group, while South Korea defeated Mongolia and Thailand 3-0, edged Japan 2-1 and went down 0-3 against Group A winners Hong Kong to finish second in the group.
Meanwhile, the men’s team who topped Group B are set to face India in the semi-finals, after edging Hong Kong 2-1 in their final Group B fixture.
Malaysia, the defending champions, started off well when Ng Eain Yow defeated Henry Leung Chi-hin 11-4, 11-3, 12-10, but Ivan Yuen went down against Tang Ming Hong 6-11, 11-5, 11-7, 4-11, 3-11.
However, Mohd Syafiq Kamal secured the winning point for Malaysia after coming back from a set down to defeat Wong Chi Him 3-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency