Kuwait Recover To Survive Asian Games Opener
27 Sep 2023
While pre-tournament favourites India and Hong Kong made strong starts in China on day one of the squash events of the 19th Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre, fifth seeds Kuwait had to fight back to overcome underdogs Singapore in the men's team event.
The first day of the men's and women's team competitions featured 20 ties - with most teams playing two ties.
In the tie of the day, Kuwait battled back from one match down to defeat Singapore in the men's event.
No.5 seeds Kuwait looked in trouble when No.9 seeds Singapore took the lead after Marcus Phua saved two match balls to edge a gripping encounter with Mohammad Falah 3-2 in a fifth-game tie-break.
Kuwait, however, responded perfectly.
Afterwards, Kuwait team manager Majid Khan said: "That was a great tie, even though we lost the first match.
"Abdullah Almezayen, he's one of the greatest players in the history of Kuwait and the way he handled the pressure and the way he played was just great. And Ammar, too, he controlled his nerves and he executed according to the plan I gave him."
Top seeds India impressed in a 3/0 win against Singapore before overcoming a stubborn Qatar side by the same scoreline in Pool A.
In Pool B, No.2 seeds Malaysia eased past Philippines and Republic of Korea, while No.3 seeds Hong Kong, China beat Republic of Korea and Thailand.
In Pool A in the women's draw, top seeds Hong Kong were in imperious form, overpowering Mongolia - who were making their maiden appearance in international team squash - in the morning and Thailand in the afternoon without a single game dropped.
Meanwhile, in Pool B, No.2 seeds Malaysia recorded comfortable wins over Nepal and Pakistan, while No.3 seeds India also recorded a win over Pakistan in their sole tie of the day.