India & Malaysia Strike Gold At Asian Junior Championships
6 Feb 2017
Favourites India and Malaysia fulfilled their seedings in the Asian Junior Team Squash Championships, winning the men's and women's gold medals, respectively, in the 18th staging of the biennial regional event in Hong Kong.
Velavan Senthilkumar, the reigning British Junior Open champion and Asian Individual Junior champion from Chennai, put India into the lead against second seeds Malaysia, the defending champions, in the men's final - despatching Ong Sai Hung 12-10, 11-0, 11-2.
When Malaysian number two Darren Rahul Pragasam took a 2/0 lead in the second match, it looked as if a decider would be on the cards. But the plucky 18-year-old Indian Abhay Singh, also from Chennai, staged a mighty comeback - surviving a tie-break fourth game to record an impressive 10-12, 7-11, 11-5, 14-12, 11-6 victory to give the title to India.
It was India's first triumph in the championships since winning the title for the first time in 2011 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The women's final was a repeat of the 2015 climax in Malaysia between defending champions Malaysia and Hong Kong China, the 2011 champions appearing in this year's final for the fourth successive time.
Sivasangari Subramaniam, the reigning Asian Individual Junior champion who made her senior debut for Malaysia in December's WSF Women's World Team Championship, put her country into the driving seat with an 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5 win over Lui Hiu Lam.
The win marks Malaysia's seventh women's Asian Junior title since 1993.
Bronze medallists: Hong Kong China & Pakistan
Final positions: 5 Iran, 6 Republic of Korea, 7 Jordan, 8 Singapore, 9 Sri Lanka, 10 Japan, 11 Chinese Taipei, 12 Macau
Bronze medallists: Japan & Singapore
Final positions: 5 Republic of Korea, 6 India, 7 Sri Lanka, 8 Chinese Taipei, 9 Macau