Asian Games: Eain Yow’s gold puts Malaysia in joyous mood

HANGZHOU — Ng Eain Yow concluded the Hangzhou Asian Games squash challenge in a joyous mood for Malaysia by clinching the men’s singles gold medal at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Squash Court here today.

The top seed came back from a set down to beat Saurav Ghosal of India 9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 in a 72-minute battle in the final to deliver the country’s 28th medal in the Games.

The win not only avenged the 25-year-old Eain Yow’s defeat by Saurav in the men’s team semi-finals last week which Malaysia lost but also helped the Malaysian contingent to surpass their 27-medal target.

His victory also ended Malaysia’s 13-year wait to wrest back the Asiad men’s singles title, after Ong Beng Hee (2002, 2006) and Mohd Azlan Iskandar (2010) dominated the event.

“I just stayed stronger than last week and made him feel tired to secure this win. I am very happy to give this medal to my beloved country. At Jakarta, I delivered the winning point for the team event, and now I helped to surpass the target.

“Squash achieved the target here and always delivered for the country. Thanks for all the support. Before this, some might think squash would face a medal draught after the retirement of Datuk Nicol David, Beng Hee and Mohd Azlan but those who follow the developments know Sivasangari and I have contributed many medals to the country,” he said.

Malaysia are back as the best nation in the Asian Games squash with three golds, one silver and one bronze, surpassing the 2-2-1 feat achieved in the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang edition.

Malaysia’s best achievement was in the 2010 Guangzhou edition when the national team returned home with 3-1-2 although only four events (men’s & women’s singles, men’s & women’s team) were contested then.

Earlier, S. Sivasangari won the women’s singles gold while Mohammad Syafiq Mohd Kamal-Aifa Azmanhad took silver in the mixed doubles event, which was contested for the first time in the Asian Games. — BERNAMA