HANGZHOU: The national squash team could be reaping as many as three gold medals tomorrow, after Malaysian players advanced to the final in three different categories at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Squash Court, here.
The combination of Mohammad Syafiq Mohd Kamal-Aifa Azman is in the verge of setting history as the first mixed doubles champions in Asian Games, after bouncing back from a set down to beat Abhay Singh-Anahat Singh of India 8-11, 11-2, 11-9.
The duo, however, will face a bigger test in the final against another Indian pair and top seeds Dipika Pallikal-Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu, who eliminated Wong Chi Him-Lee Ka Yi of Hong Kong 7-11 11-7 11-9.
“We must have a really good game plan for tomorrow and get ready to go for the historic gold. I am really looking forward to giving them a really hard time and playing our best,” said Aifa, who is looking for her second gold after winning the team event gold last Saturday.
The mixed doubles event is being contested in the Asiad for the first time.
In the women’s singles, reigning silver medallist S. Sivasangari stunned top seed Satomi Watanabe of Japan 11-8, 11-8, 11-4.
Sivasangari, who took the 2018 edition silver after losing to Datuk Nicol David in the final, would be challenged by Hong Kong’s Chan Sin Yuk, who ousted compatriot Ho Tze Lok 11-4, 11-5, 11-8.
“I have played Satomi since I was nine, we have grown up together in all tournaments and she is a good friend of mine. We know each other’s game very well, I was afraid of what she is going to come up with today, but I managed to win.
“It will be another battle tomorrow, but I am confident of going to do it for myself, for my family and friends in Malaysia. I just want to focus on myself, focus on my game and come up with a game plan tonight,” Sivasangari said.
Meanwhile, men’s singles top seed Ng Eain Yow has been given a tough time by Qatar’s Abdulla Al-Tamimi, before prevailing 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5.
In the finals, he will face the winner of the semi-final between Henry Leung Chi Hin of Hong Kong and India’s Saurav Ghosal. -Bernama