Double Gold for Malaysia as India take Mixed Doubles
On a thrilling final day of squash at the 19th Asian Games, Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam and Eain Yow Ng captured the two singles golds, while Indian duo Dipika Pallikal Karthik and Harinder Sandhu won gold in the first ever Asian Games mixed doubles event.
Subramaniam edged out Hong Kong’s China’s Chan Sin Yuk in a five-game thriller that either player could have won.
The pair met earlier this year in the final of the Asian Championship, with Chan getting the better of Subramaniam in five games, clinching Malaysia’s fifth consecutive Asian Games women’s singles title with a 12-10 in the fifth victory.
“I was flag bearer and now, to win two gold medals, it seems like a movie to me,” Subramaniam – who was also part of the Malaysian women’s team that won gold earlier in the competition – said afterwards.
“I don’t think anyone would have expected me to win two gold medals after the last year-and-a-half. I started playing well only in maybe April or May but before that, I was really struggling. I had a lot of challenges to go through and I cannot believe this at the moment.”
“It’s huge!” Ng said. “What a way to do it. I’m just soaking it in at the moment… at times, it just felt like there was no way we could win a point. Everyone was just picking everything up. All credit to Saurav. What a legend. If you watch him over the last two weeks he has played unbelievably.”
Doubles top seeds Pallikal Karthik and Sandhu were tested severely by second seeds Aifa Azman and Syafiq Kamal in a thrilling final, taking both games on sudden-death points at 10-10.
Sandhu added: “I was playing for Dipika, nothing for me,” said Harinderpal. “I just wanted to make sure I do as much as I can for her on court. She just kept backing me. I was like a kid in school when you’re not doing well and the teacher is constantly behind you. I played like that on court!”
Double women’s upsets as finalists decided in Hangzhou
Semi-finals day in Hangzhou saw upsets in both women’s matches as top seeds win through to Men’s and Doubles finals.
Malaysia’s Siva Subramaniam despatched top seed Satomi Watanabe in straight games, then Chan Sin Yuk beat second seed Ho Tze Lok in the second , all Hong Kong, semi. Men’s top seed Eain Yow Ng came from a game down to deny Qatar’s Abdulla Al Tamimi while second seeded Indian Saurav Ghosal despatched Henry Leung in straight games.
In the mixed doubles semis top seeds Pallikal & Sandhu and Azman & Kamal both came from a game down to reach the final.
What they said :
Siva : “I just tried to focus on my game and I did really well to be winning in three. I thought I did well with that and just happy to be in another final tomorrow.”
Sun Yuk : “It feels fantastic. This is my first Asian Games and it’s really great to be in the final. Playing against teammates is always tough because we all get nervous, but I handled the pressure well.”
Eain Yow : “I changed my mindset today and was really just enjoying some good squash! A few times I hit the widest crosscourt in the world and he was still getting it and all I could do was smile at how good it was. I just want to enjoy the occasion, the atmosphere and show everyone what I can do.”
Saurav : “It took me a while to get over the 2014 final defeat, I’m just grateful that I have the opportunity to come back and play another final.”
Dipika : “I am just happy that I get to have my twins watch me play and hopefully we both can do it tomorrow.”
Wed 3rd, Day THREE : Quarter-finals
The morning session featured the final round of Mixed Doubles pool matches, with the top pairs in each pool advancing to the quarter-finals which tool place later in the day.
In the women’s event the top four seeds won through to the semis, with a Hong Kong finalists guaranteed when Chan Sin Yuk meets Ho Tze Lok. In the top half Japan’s Satomi Watanabe meets Malaysian Siva Subramaniam. There was an all-Hong Kong men’s upset as Henry Leung beat 3/4 seed Alex Lau to set up a semi-final with India’s Saurav Ghosal. Top seeded Malaysian Eain Yow Ng meets Qatar’s Abdulla al Tamimi.
Tue 2nd, Day TWO : Singles and Doubles continue
Day Two saw the singles quarter-finalists decided, with seven of the top eight seeds winning through in the men’s and women’s draws – Kuwait’s Abdullah Elmezayen overcame Pakistan’s 5/8 seed Muhd Asim Khan in five games, while Korea’s Heo Mingyeong overcame India’s veteran 5/8 seed Joshna Chinappa in four games.
Play continued in the mixed doubles pools, with the top teams from India (Singh & Singh, Pallikal & Sandhu), Malaysia (AifaAzman & Kamal), Hong Kong (Lee & Wong, Tong & Tang) and Philippines (Aribado & Garcia) remaining unbeaten. Day Three will see the pools decided and the quarter-finals played.
Mixed Doubles : 01-05 Oct – pools through to quarters