Sunday February 24, 2013
Double blow for Malaysia at Asian Juniors
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: It was a double disappointment for Malaysia in the 16th Asian Junior squash team championships in Seoul yesterday as both the boys’ and girls’ team were sent packing in the semi-finals.
The girls’ team started off well against India but went down 2-1 while the boys’ squad were humiliated 2-0 by Pakistan.
Hopes were high for Malaysia in the girls’ event when Rachel Arnold beat India’s Aparajitha Balamurukan 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 in the opening tie.
Vanessa Raj, however, failed to press home the advantage. She lost 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 to Anaka Alankamony.
India clinched the winning point when Lakshya Ragvendran beat Celina Yeap 11-6, 11-6, 13-11 in the last tie.
Malaysia reached the final at the last championships in Sri Lanka two years ago but lost 2-0 to Hong Kong.
India will face defending champions Hong Kong in today’s final. Hong Kong were 3-0 winners over Japan in the other semi-final.
Team manager Raymond Arnold was disappointed that Malaysia failed to make the final.
“Rachel did well to give us a good start. Vanessa started off slow and could not handle the pressure against India’s No. 1 Anaka.
“As for Celine, she did not follow instructions in the first two sets.
“She gave her best in the third set by increasing the pace of the game but failed to get the crucial points,” lamented Raymond.
Malaysia were outclassed by Pakistan in the boys’ event.
Mohd Amir Farhan Ampandi took the court first and gave a good fight against Tayyab Aslam before losing 12-10, 4-11, 8-11, 11-5, 4-11.
Sanjay Singh Chal, Malaysia’s top junior, was next but he was no match for Syed Ali Mujtaba Shah Bokhari. He lost 11-7, 11-5, 11-7.
Pakistan will face defending champions and arch-rivals India in today’s final.
India edged Hong Kong 2-1 in the other semi-final.