Low Wee Wern beat fellow Malaysian Delia Arnold in the opening round of the British Open in Hull on Tuesday to make the second round for the first time. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s challenge in the men’s category of the prestigious British Open squash championships ended when qualifier Ong Beng Hee was shown the exit in the first round in Hull.
The 34-year-old Beng Hee, who defeated compatriot Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8 in the second round of the qualifiers on Sunday, put up a good fight on Monday against eighth seed Karim Darwish of Egypt before losing 12-14, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11 in 69 minutes.
In the first round of the qualifiers, Beng Hee beat Chris Gordon of the United States 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7.
Beng Hee said that he was not disappointed despite failing to get past the first round.
“I gave my best against Darwish but the Egyptian was just too good and fast,” said Beng Hee.
Karim will face another qualifier and fellow Egyptian Fares Dessouki in the second round on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old Fares, who is ranked 55th in the world, won the first round 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 7-11, 9-3 after compatriot and world No. 18 Karim Abdel Gawad retired in the fifth set due to a leg injury.
Mathieu Castagnet of France created the biggest upset of the day when he came back from a set down to stun world No. 7 Borja Golan of Spain 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 1-11, 11-6 in 90 minutes to set up a date with England’s Adrian Grant.
In the women’s division, national number three Delia Arnold overcame a poor run in competitions this year to qualify for the main draw of the British Open.
In the first qualifying round, Delia, ranked 40th in the world, warded off a strong challenge from Carrie Ramsey of England before prevailing 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-2 in 39 minutes.
The Malaysian then went on to upset world No. 35 Latasha Khan of the United States in the second qualifying round 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 in 30 minutes to seal her place in the main draw.
The 28-year-old Delia, however, will face fellow Malaysian and world No. 8 Low Wee Wern in the first round of the tournament.