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Fab Four as Malaysia achieves best ever finish at British Juniors


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia claimed four titles to achieve their best ever finish in a single edition of the British Junior Open squash championships.

K. Sehveetrraa, the Azman sisters - Aira and Aifa and national No. 2 S. Sivasangari all came up big to cap Malaysia's campaign in Birmingham on a high.

The 12-year-old Sehveetrraa had gotten the ball rolling when she downed Fayrouz Abouelkheir of Egypt 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 for the Under-13 crown.

The 13-year-old Aira then doubled the tally by claiming the Under-15 title albeit after a post-match protest.

Aira, who had held her own against the bigger and more physical Sana Ibrahim, had initially lost 11-8, 11-5, 10-12, 6-11, 10-12 to the second seeded Egyptian.

But she was crowned champion following a protest by the Malaysian camp as Sana had threw up on court whilst trailing 2-4 in the fifth set.

Under the World Squash Federation (WSF) Rule 16, any player who throws up on court should have automatically forfeited the match.

"I was initially puzzled as to why didn't the referee see the vomit on the court," said Aira.

"I did however feel sorry for my opponent when the result was overturned.

"It's not the way I wanted to win but I'll accept it because I felt I deserved it... I did play quite well today."

Sixteen-year-old Aifa then ensured a family double by trouncing top seed Marina Stefanoni of the United States 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 in the Under-17 category.

Aifa and Aira's success means they are also the first sibling pair to win in a single edition after the El Shorbagy brothers - Mohamed and Marwan's triumph in 2010.

"I'm really happy to win my third title...and to do it together with my sister. We both promised each other to win," said Aifa who also bagged the Under-13 title in 2014 and the Under-15 title in 2016.

World No. 45 Sivasangari then ensured the icing on the cake as she proved too strong for Japan's Satomi Watanabe in the Under-19 final.

Sivasangari, who won the Under-15 crown in 2014, won 12-10, 117, 11-9 in just 33 minutes.

"I'm very happy to have made it! It's always close with Satomi and I'm happy to take a 3-0 win this time," said Sivasangari who is the second Malaysian to win in the Under-19 category since Low Wee Wern in 2009.

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