UNIVERSITI Putra Malaysia (UPM) A emerged as the inaugural champions after edging Inti International University College (INTI IUC) A 2-1 in a thrilling final of the 1Malaysia IPT Division 1 team squash championships at the National Squash Centre Bukit Jalil recently.
The team comprised two male players and a female player.
UPM (A) captain Mohd Amir Farhan Ampandi clinched the winner after both teams were level at 1-1.
Earlier, UPM’s top-ranked player Gurshan Singh, backed by a vociferous crowd, brushed aside INTI IUC’s Bryan Lim Tze Kang 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8 to give a rousing start for his teammates to take the lead.
Then it was a match up between the universities’ top female player Mithila Tamilarasan and Lee Ka Ern, where the former retired after injuring her right shin.
Ka Ern won the first two sets 11-9, 11-6 before Mithila withdrew which enabled INTI IUC to draw level.
It was then the cruncher, the deciding third tie played between the second-ranked players Mohd Amir and Alwin Chai Yar Zhen.
Mohd Amir, who was beaten 3-0 by Alwin in the group stage, went in as the underdog but the 20-year-old UPM skipper kept his cool to outplay his opponent when it mattered most. Mohd Amir won 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 in a thriller much to the delight of his teammates and university mates.
Universiti Malaya (UM) A settled for third place after trouncing Sunway University 2-0. UM captain Mohd Addeen Idrakie, who is also the National No 3, outshone Ma Teck Leck 11-7, 11-13, 11-2, 11-0 while Gillian Ng came from behind to snatch a 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9 win over Jadeleen Lee to finish third.
For their win, UPM (A) bagged a Challenge trophy, a plaque, gold medal and RM1,500 cash while runners’ up INTI IU (A) took the silver medal and RM900 cash and UM (A) settled for bronze medal and RM500 cash.
The winners received their prize from Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) deputy president Robert Lau.
“Since it is the first team tournament, we came here with the hope of making an impact. Our manager Dr Yap Wing Fen played a vital role in ensuring our team spirit was good which kept us going.
“Though we lost to INTI IUC (A) in the group stage, we did not let it affect our performance during the final. I am glad we won as we gave our best. Credit to INTI IUC as well for giving us a good fight till the last,” said Mohd Amir, a former national back up player.
In the Divison Two section, Infrastructure University KL (IUKL) beat UM (D) 2-0 in the final to finish top while Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) edged Tuanku Abdul Rahman Universiti College (TARUC) 2-1 to settle for third placing.
A total of 119 players, comprising 27 teams from 14 universities and polytechnics, competed in the four-day event, which was launched by Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia chief executive officer Ung Su Ling and SRAM president Huang Ying How.
Also present were SRAM vice-presidents Nik Razneen Daud and Peter Chee as well as SRAM committee members R. Subramaniam and Sim Chi Keng.
DIVISION 1: UPM (A) bt INTI IUC 2-1 (Gurshan Singh bt Bryan Lim Tze Kang 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8; T. Mithila lost to Lee Kar Ern 9-11, 6-11, rtd; Mohd Amir Farhan Ampandi bt Alwin Chai Yar Zhen 11-8, 11-7, 11-9).
3rd placing: UM (A) bt Sunway University 2-0 ( Mohd Addeen Idrakie bt Ma Teck Leck 11-7, 11-13, 11-2, 11-0; Gillian Ng bt Jadeleen Lee 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9).
DIVISION 2: IUKL bt UM (D) (Izzazul Helmi bt New Ru Peng 11-7, 11-8, 11-6; Adele Han bt Lim Shern Nee 11-5, 11-4, 11-3).
3rd Placing: UKM bt TARUC 2-1 (Mohd Adeeb Mohd Arif Kor bt Aaron Chow Yin Yit 11-6, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5; Nor Afifah Munirah Muhammad lost to Grace Lim Wei Min 4-11, 7-11, 11-5, 5-11; Airee Afiq Abdul Rahim bt Lim Sing Yi 11-9, 11-9, 11-1).