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Tuesday October 8, 2013 MYT 9:10:00 PM
Tuesday October 8, 2013 MYT 9:12:23 PM
by kng zheng guan
Mohd Syafiq Kamal on his way to beating England's Steve London 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5 to qualify for the Royal Lake Club Open.
KUALA LUMPUR: Youngster Mohd Syafiq Kamal made a breakthrough by qualifying for the main draw of a Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour event for the first time in his career.
The 17-year-old Syafiq who does not even have a PSA ranking, was superb as he overcame a more experienced Steve London in the qualifying finals of the US$15,000 (RM47,927) Royal Lake Club Open yesterday.
The Asian Youth Games individual silver medallist played a matured and patient game to frustrate world No. 139 London of England for an 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5 win.
It is a massive boost for the Kelantan boy who is competing in his final tournament of the year before he prepares for his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations which start next month.
Syafiq’s outstanding performance earned him a clash with third seed and national No. 4 Ivan Yuen in the first round of the tournament proper today.
“I’m really happy to pull off such an important win. This is the first time that I have ever qualified for the main draw of a professional event,” said Syafiq.
“I stuck to my plan against Steve and did my best not to make too many mistakes.
“Now it doesn’t matter who I face in the main draw, because I’m just going to enjoy the experience.”
There was more good news for the Malaysian camp as backup players Mohd Addeen Idrakie and Valentino Bong both came through the qualifiers as well.
The 19-year-old Addeen was well on top of his game in besting Englishman Richard Williams 11-9, 11-9, 11-6, while Valentino defeated Kuwait’s Bader Al Hussaini 10-12, 11-2, 11-5, 11-6.
Addeen will tackle Asian Games silver medallist Aamir Atlas Khan next, while Sarawakian Valentino will go up against New Zealand’s Paul Coll.
“I thought I played very well and I was quite confident with my game,” said Addeen.
“I’m really happy to make the main draw especially since it is a bigger tournament this year.
“Aamir will be tough to beat but I have no pressure taking him on.”
A fourth Malaysian, Mohd Hannan Tarmidi, however failed to make the cut after losing to Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam in straight sets.
National No. 1 Ong Beng Hee will start his campaign today against wildcard Sanjay Singh Chal in the first round while national No. 2 Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan will go up against Wales’ Peter Creed.
Tags / Keywords:
squash, Royal Lake Club Open, Mohd Syafiq Kamal, Mohd Addeen Idrakie, Valentino Bong
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