Thursday February 21, 2013
Malaysia survive scare in Seoul
KUALA LUMPUR: Third seeds Malaysia survived a scare in the opening Group B match of the 16th Asian Junior team squash championships in Seoul yesterday.
The national juniors were supposed to chalk up an easy win over Pakistan but instead were made to struggle before prevailing 2-1.
National number two Rachel Arnold (pic) was upset by Sadia Gul 9-11, 9-11, 5-11.
However, Malaysia’s top junior Vanessa Raj levelled the tie by eliminating Sammer Anjum 11-3, 11-3, 11-8.
Celine Yeap delivered the winning point with a 11-2, 11-2, 11-3 win over Riffat Khan.
Malaysia need a win over Sri Lanka today to seal a place in the semi-finals.
They will wrap up the group fixtures against defending champions Hong Kong tomorrow.
In the boys’ competition, Malaysia got off to good start by outplaying Taiwan 3-0 in a Group D match.
Mohd Amir Farhan Ampandi was just too good for Chang Chin Min, dropping only two points for an easy 11-1, 11-1, 11-0 win.
Next to take the court was top national junior player Sanjay Singh Chal and he had no problems seeing off Chen Hieh Ming 11-2, 11-5, 11-7.
Mohd Shafiq Mohd Kamal completed the rout with 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 victory over Fu Chin Ching.
Malaysia, seeded fourth, will have play against Sri Lanka and Kuwait today.
A win over either of the teams will be enough for Malaysia to qualify for the quarter-finals tomorrow.
National coach Raymond Arnold said that his daughter Rachel lost the opening match because she was very nervous.
“She only played well in patches. I hope that she will be able to overcome her nerves to play much better against Sri Lanka tomorrow,” said Raymond, who is also the team manager.
Raymond said that the boys had an easy win but they would face a stronger challenge from Kuwait.
“We want our boys to win both the matches against Sri Lanka and Kuwait tomorrow to top the group in order to get an easy draw for the quarter-finals,” said Raymond.