Our boys and girls storm past group opponents in Asian tourney


On song: Rachel Arnold (right) is optimistic of getting past Joshna Chinappa, who should be playing first singles for India today.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s women enjoyed a good workout ahead of a decisive clash against India today by beating Iran 3-0 in the Asian Team Squash Championships in Bukit Jalil.

With newly crowned Malaysian Open champion Aifa Azman rested, it was Rachel Arnold who got things going for Malaysia by nicking the first point at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Rachel defeated Fereshteh Eghtedari 11-5, 16-14, 11-2 and Chan Yiwen then sealed the win with a 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 victory over Ailee Nayeri.

Noor Ainaa Amani Ampandi faced a bit of resistance before beating Sogol Samoudi 11-5, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6 in the third match.

Malaysia are the second seeds and should top Group B if they overcome India today.

They will complete their group fixtures against Philippines tomorrow.

Malaysia need to win their group to avoid facing top seeds Hong Kong in the crossover semi-finals.

The last time Malaysia won the women’s title was in 2016 and Rachel is hoping the team can end the drought.

“I was a bit shaky in the second set but I manage to control the situation. We are seeded second but we got a good chance to win this week.

“After losing in the Malaysian Open semis last week, I am more determined to achieve something,” said Rachel, the Malaysian Open champion in 2019.

“We still got a good team going although S. Sivasangari is unable to join us this time,” said Rachel, who is optimistic of getting the better of world No. 12 Joshna Chinappa, who should be playing the first singles for India today.

“I have played her a few times and am familiar with her playing style. I will do my best to get the first point.”

The men’s team, also seeded second, cruised to 3-0 victories over Singapore and South Korea.

Ivan Yuen was fielded in place of national No. 1 Ng Eain Yow in Malaysia’s opening tie against Singapore and he duly delivered the first point by beating Chua Man Tong 11-7, 11-7, 11-2.

Syafiq Kamal beat Kojiro Tan 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 for the winning point and Addeen Idrakie brushed aside Jerome Aw 11-3, 11-6, 11-1 in the 3-0 win.

Eain Yow took to the court in the evening session and he secured the winning point with a 12-10, 11-3, 11-5 win over Yoo Jae-jin after Addeen put Malaysia in the lead by beating Woo Chang-wook 11-6, 11-3, 11-4. Ivan Yuen completed the rout by beating Lee Min-woo 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8.

Hong Kong are the men and women’s defending champions in the Asian team meet.

MEN

Group A: India bt Iraq 3-0, Pakistan bt Philippines 3-0, Japan bt Indonesia 3-0,

India bt Philippines 3-0; Japan bt Iraq 3-0; Pakistan bt Indonesia 3-0.

Group B: Malaysia bt Singapore 3-0 (Ivan Yuen bt Chua Man Tong 11-7, 11-7, 11-2; Mohd Syafiq Kamal bt Kojiro Tan 11-3, 11-4, 11-5; Addeen Idrakie bt Jerome Aw 11-3, 11-6, 11-1); Iran bt Sri Lanka 3-0, Hong Kong bt South Korea 2-1; Hong Kong bt Sri Lanka 3-0;

Malaysia bt South Korea 3-0 (Addeen Idrakie bt Woo Chang-wook 11-6, 11-3, 11-4; Ng Eain Yow bt Yoo Jae-jin 12-10, 11-3, 11-5; Ivan Yuen bt Lee Min-woo 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8).

WOMEN

Group A: Hong Kong bt South Korea 3-2, Japan bt Sri Lanka 3-0.

Group B: Malaysia bt Iran 3-0 (Rachel Arnold bt Fereshteh Eghtedari 11-5, 16-14, 11-2; Chan Yiwen bt Ailee Nayeri 11-4, 11-9, 11-5; Noor Ainaa Amani Ampandi bt Sogol Samoudi 11-5, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6); India bt Philippines 3-0.

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