PETALING JAYA: National junior squash player Amir Amirul Azhar stayed on track for a second title in a row after cruising into the semi-finals of the first-leg CIMB Foundation National Junior Circuit.
The talented 15-year-old upstaged South Korea’s Kim Seok-jin 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 in the boys’ Under-19 quarter-final at the Nicol David International Squash Centre in Penang yesterday.
He faces teammate and second seed Danial Nurhaqiem Sharul Nizamm for a place in the final. The 18-year-old Danial showed his quality when he dismissed Kerwin Teh 11-7, 11-5, 11-3 in another quarter-final match.
Despite the age gap, Amir remains unfazed and is keeping his focus on the top prize.
“I was focused on getting my shots. It was a good win for me and an important one to prepare for my match against Danial,” said Amir.
“I feel nervous having to play Danial, because I’ve lost to him many times before but I’m confident I can beat him this time around.”
Amir’s confidence stems from having bagged the National Junior title when he surprised top seed and teammate Duncan Lee with a hard-fought 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 win in the Under-17 final last month.
It was an important win for Amir who has often finished second best to Duncan, including in the final of the CIMB Foundation Grand Final last year.
The Under-17 Asian Junior runner-up Danial also did well at the National Junior Championships when he gave top junior Siow Yee Xian a good fight before losing in the final of the Under-19 category.
“I feel more confident after winning the national junior title by beating Duncan. I’ll be ready against Danial,” he said.
“Danial plays a very fast-paced game as he attacks the ball early and likes to play volley, so I need to be at my best in order to beat him.”(Bukit Jalil Sports School unless stated)
Under-15cTypeface:> Tay Jun Qian (Sel) bt Tristan Andreas Muyou Angkaus 12-10, 11-13, 11-9, 11-6; Kelven Lee (Pen) bt Aidan Yunus (Sel) 11-3, 14-12, 11-1; Douglas Chee (Pen) bt Ahmad Aiman Amsyar Ahamad Azam (Ter) 11-8, 11-9, 11-7; B. Harriesh (Per) bt C. Thineshraj (Sel) 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 13-11.
Under-17cTypeface:> Joachim Chuah (FT) bt Harith Danial Jefri (Swk) 11-5, 11-7, 11-6; Hi Jia Rong bt Lee Yi Guan (Pen) 11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 9-11, 11-5 ; Sacchin Kumar Sivanesan (Sel) bt R. Dhirren (Pen) 5-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5; Nicholas Chee (Pen) bt Shamiel Haeyzad Sharulhisam 11-6, 12-10, 2-11, 11-5.
Under-19cTypeface:> Duncan Lee bt Ong Jin Zher (Mel) 11-3, 11-7, 4-11, 11-7; Darryl Gan bt Ishant Shah Atul Kumar (Pen) 8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 12-14, 11-6; Amir Amirul Azhar bt Kim Seok-jin 11-8, 11-7, 11-7; Danial Nurhaqiem Sharul Nizam bt Kerwin Teh (Sel) 11-7, 11-5, 11-3.
Under-15cTypeface:> Claudia Yong (Swk) bt June Loke (Ked) 11-5, 8-11, 7-11, 11-1, 11-4; Eugenia Sulan David (Swk) bt K. Vinikasheinie (Sel) 11-4, 11-5, 11-6; P. Kuviraa (Pen) bt A In-jun (Kor) 7-11, 11-2, 15-13, 9-11, 12-10; Iris Chieng (Swk) bt K. Vitrikasheinie (Sel) 11-7, 11-3, 11-5.
Under-17: K. Sehveetrraa (Ked) bt V. Visharti (Pen) 11-3, 11-2, 11-7; Nathalie Sim (Swk) bt Rafu Takahashi (Jpn) 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4; U. Thanusaa bt Vharsha Mithraa Dinesh (Sel) 8-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-8 ; N Shasmithaa (Sel) bt Goh Zhi Xuan 11-8, 11-9, 11-9.
Under-19cTypeface:> Jessica Keng (Sab) bt Amirah Rusydina Rosli (FT) 4-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5; Noor Ainaa Amani Ampandi bt Yee Xin Ying 11-8, 11-7, 11-5; Aira Azman bt Wong Heng Wai (Ked) 11-6, 12-10, 13-11; Ooi Kah Yan bt Teoh Liyen (Pen) 11-2, 12-10, 11-2.