HANGZHOU — The national squash squad got off on the right foot in the Asian Games, with both the men’s and women’s teams notching victories in all matches held at the Hangzhou International Expo Centre here, today.
The men’s team began their gold medal defence by beating the Philippines 3-0 in Group B, with Mohd Syafiq Kamal beating Reymark Begornia 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 after a cautious start.
Ng Eain Yow notched an 11-3, 11-7, 11-4 victory over Robert Garcia, while Muhammad Addeen Idrakie Bahtiar concluded the match by defeating David Pelino 11-5, 11-2, 11-4.
In the second match against South Korea, the boys secured another 3-0 win, with Muhammad Addeen beating Lee Dongjun 11-6, 11-6, 11-7, followed by Eain Yow’s 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 victory over Yoo Jaejin and Ivan Yuen’s 12-14, 11-7, 11-6, 14-12 win against Lee Minwoo.
The women’s team didn’t break a sweat to defeat Nepal 3-0 in the Group B opener as World Junior Championships runner-up Aira Azman secured an easy win of 11-3, 11-1, 11-6 against Shrestha Swasthani.
Her elder sister Aifa doubled the lead by thrashing Bipana Bhlon 11-2, 11-5, 11-6, while Rachel Arnold defeated Thapa Krishna 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 to complete the rout.
In the second game against Pakistan, Aira again secured the team’s first point by beating Mehwish Ali 11-5, 11-6, 11-3, while S.Sivasangari’s 11-2, 11-6, 11-5 win against Noor Ul Huda Sadiq and Rachel’s 11-0, 11-3, 11-3 victory over Noor Ul Ain Ijaz ensured full points on the first day.
Team manager Mohd Nafzahizam Mohd Adnan said today’s matches were a good start to test their performances before facing tougher opponents in the upcoming matches.
“Everyone in the team is playing well, and have shown good performances,” he said.
On Wednesday, the men’s team will take on Japan and Thailand, while the women will face Macao. — BERNAMA