The South East Asian Games squash takes place at the Manila Polo Club in Makata City in the Philippines from 1st to 9th December with Singles followed by Team events.
Arnold and Idrakie bury the demons in Manila
The demons of the past were well dead and buried as national squash players Addeen Idrakie and Rachel Arnold both won to bring double joy for Malaysia.
Addeen had lost in the final of the same event in Singapore in 2015 while Rachel lost in the Kuala Lumpur 2017 final, but they put that in the past, living up to their top billings to bring home the golden prize at the Manila Polo Club yesterday.
Rachel delivered the first gold for squash when she overcame a challenge from her junior teammate Chan Yiwen 11-9, 11-7, 11-3 in the women’s final. The 23-year-old thus has regained the gold which she won in Singapore in 2015 but lost to rising star S. Sivasangari in Kuala Lumpur in 2017.
It was also Rachel’s fourth SEA Games gold. She also won the women’s team gold in 2015 and mixed pair gold in 2017.
“I played well. There were patches in the game where I made a few mistakes but I’m glad I managed to keep calm,” said Rachel. “It was a bit disappointing to lose in the final two years ago, so it feels great to get the singles gold again.”
Addeen was made to fight hard, playing almost 50 minutes against home favourite Robert Garcia before securing the gold medal with a score of 11-7, 3-11, 11-9, 11-5.
The medal will be a most welcome prize for the 25-year-old who fell just short of the top prize when he lost to former national player Sanjay Singh Chal in 2015. For Addeen, it was also his second Games gold as he was also part of the men’s team that lifted the title in Singapore.
“It’s definitely a relief to win because after the first set, Robert came out hard. I’m glad I managed to regain my composure to get the win,” said Addeen, who missed out on the last Games as he was not selected.
“It’s also good that I finally managed to win the gold because it’s something every athlete wants. I didn’t want to miss another opportunity, especially since it was on me to deliver the gold medal target.”