Sivasangari (back) wins the Under-19 title after defeating Aika Azman 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.
KUALA LUMPUR: British Junior Open Under-15 champion S. Sivasangari overcame the disappointment of missing out on the ongoing World Junior Championship by bagging the girls’ Under-19 title in the CIMB Rising Star National Junior Circuit Grand Finals.
The 15-year-old was initially slated to compete in the world juniors in Windhoek, Namibia. But she was forced to withdraw by her parents due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Like Sivasangari, Zoe Foo, Andrea Lee and Mohd Farez Izwan also pulled out of the championships.
Sivasangari gave herself some cheer by beating Bukit Jalil Sports School’s (BJSS) Aika Azman 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 in the final at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.
Sivasangari was happy to finally land a title as she was sent packing in the quarter-finals of her last tournament – the Asian Junior Championships – in June.
“I’m just relieved to win because I was not playing well during the Sukma and Asian Juniors,” said Sivasangari who finished as runner-up to Vanessa Raj in the championship last year.
“I really don’t know why I’m been playing so bad recently. Maybe it’s because the other girls are catching up. Maybe it’s the pressure.
“But I’m definitely happy with the win today because I was feeling down for missing the world juniors. My mother simply wouldn’t allow me to go,” added Sivasangari.
There was some joy in the Azman family as Aika’s younger sister - Aifa – proved too strong for top seed Lai Wen Li in the girls’ Under-17 category.
The 12-year-old Aifa, a British Junior Open champion in the Under-13 category this year, brought out her A game to win 11-5, 11-6, 14-12.
In the boys’ Under-19 category, Federal Territories’ Andrew Lee brushed aside Penang’s Ryan Pasqual to win 11-6, 11-3, 11-6.
Selangor’s Eugene Heng bagged the Under-17 title after beating BJSS’ Mohd Hafiz Zhafri 11-7, 11-5, 11-3.