Ng Eain Yow will take on top seed Youssef Soliman of Egypt for the British Junior Open boys’ Under-17 final.
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia celebrate their biggest ever representation in the British Junior Open squash championship finals after Ng Eain Yow and Aifa Azman both won their semi-final matches at Sheffield on Sunday.
Eain Yow, the second seed in the boys’ Under-17 category, was given a strict test by local hopeful Patrick Rooney before winning 12-10, 11-7, 11-8.
12-year-old Aifa on the other hand was hardly troubled as she gave Egyptian second seed Nouran Youssef a thrashing, winning 11-6, 11-7, 11-2 in just 21 minutes.
With their wins, Eain Yow and Aifa join S. Sivasangari who had earlier made the final of the girls’ Under-15 category after beating Egypt’s Amina Yousry in a thrilling five-setter.
This is the first time that three Malaysians have earned their spot in the finals in the same year and it surely marks a return to the old glory days of junior squash for the country.
Eain Yow in particular will be extra fired up to win as he seeks to add to his Under-13 title from 2011 and the Under-15 title last year in order to equal Ong Beng Hee’s treble from 1994-1998.
“It was tough taking on Patrick because he has grown so much since the last time I met him,” said Eain Yow.
“He has better reach now and there were a few times when I couldn’t get the ball past him and he just finished me off.
“But I played very well to beat him … I kept everything tight along the backhand side and he just couldn’t do much with the ball.
“I’m also really happy to reach the final … especially since this is only my first year in the Under-17 category. It’s really a great feeling,” added Eain Yow, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament.
The Bukit Jalil Sports School student will take on top seed Youssef Soliman of Egypt for the title.
As for the girls, Sivasangari will go up against Hania El Hammamy in the final, while pint-sized Aifa will face Jana Shiha, both of Egypt.
Meanwhile the biggest shock of the tournament came in the boys’ Under-19 as Peru’s Diego Elias played a superb match to beat reigning world junior champion and top seed Karim El Hammamy 11-7, 11-1, 11-6 to make the final.
Elias will go on to meet Jordan’s Ahmad Alsarraj, who ended English hopes by beating George Parker 11-6, 3-11, 11-8, 15-13, in the final.