Winning start for Syafiq-Aifa in mixed doubles
HANGZHOU - Having clinched the Asian Games women’s team event gold and men’s bronze, the national squash players continued their hunt for individual event medals at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Squash Court today.
Mohammad Syafiq Mohd Kamal-Aifa Azman started their mixed doubles campaign by easily defeating China’s Li Dongjin-Zhou Zhitao 11-7, 11-5 in a Group B match as the event made its Asian Games debut.
The second seeds then outclassed Mohomed Shamil-Chanithma Sinaly of Sri Lanka 11-4, 11-7 to top the group ahead of their last game against Robert Garcia-Jemyca Aribado of the Philippines on Tuesday.
However, another mixed doubles pair Ivan Yuen- Rachel Arnold started their Group C campaign on the wrong footing when they lost to South Koreans Lee Dongjun-Yang Yeonsoo 11-4, 8-11, 10-11, before bouncing back to defeat Thailand’s Nopchanok Buranakul-Supakorn Ngamprasert 11-4, 11-3.
In the men’s singles event, Muhammad Addeen Idrakie Bahtiar advanced to the round of 16 after beating Nepal’s Arhant Keshar Simha 11-5, 11-3, 11-3 in the first round.
He will take on Sri Lanka’s Ravindu Laksiri tomorrow.
National coach Ajaz Azmat welcomed the addition of the mixed doubles event in the Asian Games as exciting news for players and the squash fraternity.
"This is a new addition and is very exciting for us and the players. All the players have been training really hard for the doubles.
"We have taken away a lot of things from the Asian Mixed Doubles Championship here (in the same venue) in June, where we lost out in the final to Dipika Pallikal and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu of India. We have learnt from that and have practised hard,” he said.
The Indian pair defeated Ivan-Rachel in the Asian Mixed Doubles Championship final. - BERNAMA