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Sivasangari happy to face her idol Nicol in final


Back to you: S. Sivasangari (left) returning a shot to India’s Joshna Chinappa in the women’s singles semi-finals at the Gelora Bung Karno Squash Stadium yesterday.

Back to you: S. Sivasangari (left) returning a shot to India’s Joshna Chinappa in the women’s singles semi-finals at the Gelora Bung Karno Squash Stadium yesterday.

NATIONAL squash player S. Sivasan­gari is living the dream at the Indonesia Asian Games.

The debutant takes on her idol and defending champion Nicol David in an all-Malaysian women’s singles final – assuring one gold for the nation at the Gelora Bung Karno Squash Stadium today.

The teenager, ranked No. 40 in the world marched into the final after beating world No. 16 Joshna Chinappa of India 12-10, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 in the semi-finals yesterday.

She had scalped No. 11 Annie Au of Hong Kong in the quarter-final on Friday.

The 19-year-old is excited to face off against Nicol for the first time in a competitive match but promised not to be over-awed.

In fact, Sivasangari is hoping to spoil Nicol’s 35th birthday by claiming the biggest prize of her career.

Nicol turns 35 today.

“I still can’t believe what has happened, I’m speechless right now,” said the jubilant Sivasangari.

“I have been looking up to Nicol since a very young age, playing her in the final of the Asian Games is a dream come true for me.

“I came here to win, tomorrow is a new day, I’ve got to be mentally prepared.

“Nicol will be out to defend her title but for now, I’m just very happy that both of us made it to the final.”

World No. 9 Nicol, who defeated India’s Dipika Palikal 11-7,11-9,11-6 in the semi-final to underline her credentials as the Asia’s squash queen yesterday, is looking for her fifth Asian Games singles gold medal.

“I’m pleased to win my match and I felt good today. I was fired up and I’m satisfied to beat a tough contender,” said Nicol.

“I’ll focus on my game against my opponent next and try to bring my best game forward.”

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan settled for the bronze medal in the men’s singles event after going down 11-5, 11-6, 5-11, 5-11, 9-11 to Max Lee of Hong Kong in the semi-finals.

Max will take on compatriot Leo Au in the final.

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