160 participants and parents caused a wave at the dead sea yesterday afternoon. Back in action this morning after fun, frolic and mud baths at the sea (see day three report)
Semi finals day today at the El-Hussein International Squash Centre in the Al-Hussein Sport City-Jordan. Of the 32 semi-finalists in all the 8 categories, Malaysia dominate with 13 players, India and Hong Kong with 7 each, Jordan and Pakistan with 2 each and a lone player from Sri Lanka. That is almost 50 percent national representation from the 13 participating nations.
Boys Under 19-Semi finals
The supporters of top seed and home favourite Ahmad Al Sarraj came armed with drums today, adding a festive touch to the occasion. It was Tayyab’s power and pace against Al Sarraj’s control and delicate high drives. Al Sarraj spurred on by his supporters controlled the rallies to take the first game. Tayyab came charging into the second and collected it. The next two saw Al Sarraj calmly regaining control as Tayyab’s aggression found the tin time and again. It was indeed a well-deserved victory. The supporters went home happy.
The second seed Syed Ali Bokhari overcame Kush Kumar after a bruising 90 min battle which included a 3 minute injury break after kush fell due to an accidental collision. Kush led for mos of the first game but it was Bokhari who took it after Kush made a couple of uncharacteristic errors. The second was Kush’s all the way. With excruciating long rallies the players were fast tiring. Bokhari’s attacking play along with errors from Kush saw the second seed win 3-1. It will be one great fight tomorrow when Bokhari meets home favourite Alsarraj. Will it be the first U19 Asian Championship title for Jordan or will Pakistan retain the trophy? We’ll know tomorrow.
Girls Under 19 – Semi finals
Defending champion Anaka Alankamony of India beat Vanessa Raj 3-1, but not without its anxious moments. Vanessa has a easy slow paced game which can easily lull the opponent into playing the same pace. But Vanessa is really good at it. However Anaka to a large extent maintained a medium pace to win 3-1.
The other semi finals was an all Hong Kong affair. Ho Ka Po the second seed lived up to her billing in easily overcoming her teammate C.Pansy Pui Hei in 3 quick games. So far Anaka has not been looking her best. For her to defend her title she will certainly need to raise her game at least a notch against the in-form Ho Ka Po. Will be an interesting duel.
Boys Under 17 – Semi finals
Malaysia’s top seed Mohd. Syafiq Kamal beat Yuen Tsun Hei from Hong Kong 3-0. The first two games were close but the third was fairly easy as Syafiq stamped his class and authority. The 2nd seed from Malaysia Eain Yeow a two-time British Junior Open Champion (U13 and U15) cruised past compatriot Darren Chan in the other semis.
Tomorrow’s final will be an interesting one between two very talented players. In the recently concluded Malaysian Open Mohd.Syafiq beat Eain Yeow 3-1 and just in the preceding week it was the same score but the other way around in the Milo Open. One gold in the bag for Malaysia.
Girls Under 17 – semi finals
Top seed Choi Uen Shan of Hong Kong outplayed the lone player from Sri Lanka in this championship, the talented M.Methsarani. Her basic game was simply too strong and Methsarani was always on the defensive. It was sweet revenge for Malaysian N.Hanis Razak when she edged out Harshit Kaur (Ind) in a well fought 5 setter.
N.Hanis Razak lost in the finals of the Malaysian open last month. Harshit seemed nervous in the crucial stages of the 5th game and made a number of unforced errors to give the match to N.Hanis who kept her cool and the ball in play. The bets on Choi Uen Shan, but N.Hanis comes with a great win and must be oozing confidence. Will that be enough though?
Boys Under 15– semi finals
Malaysian Mohd. Izwan had his hands full against the talented Robin Maan of India. It was a close match until the closing stages where Robin simply ran out of legs and made a string of errors.
Meanwhile 2nd seed Jordanian Mohd Alsarraj gave the home crowd something to cheer when he downed a spirited Ranjit Singh (Ind) 3-0. Ranjit kept the ball in play and was a little too defensive when compared to Alsarraj who took his chances, which eventually paid off. Will this style of play along with the home crowd cheer be enough to take on the solid Mohd.Izwan in the finals tomorrow? It’s anyone’s guess.
Girls Under 15– semi finals
There was shock defeat for top seed and defending champion Sivasangari(Mal). She was upset by her team mate Foo Yuk Han in the semi finals 3-1. 2nd seed Andrea Jia also of Malaysia sailed past Ho Ka Wing (HK) 3-0 in the 2nd semi finals. Malaysia are guaranteed of gold in this category.
Boys Under 13– semi finals
In the quarterfinals No.1 seed Mohd Zhafri (Mal) was simply too good for Saksham Choudhary. He had good depth and width with his straights and crosses and his finishing shots were spot on. Saksham who is very talented simply made far too many errors.
The 2nd seed Veer Chotrani (Ind) had to bring his best out to beat Yee Xian Siow (Mal) in a very closely contested match. Both players displayed an array of shots well beyond their age. Veer made fewer errors and finished better in the crucial late stage to enter the finals. It will be a mouth-watering show when these two superbly talented youngsters take to the court tomorrow.
Girls Under 13– semi finals
Top seed Aifa Azman (Mal) was edged out by her compatriot Kah Yan Ooi (3-4 seed) in the semi finals. Aifa the recently crowned Milo open champion was error prone today. Kah Yan this years Malaysian Open winner took advantage of that with some solid basic play to win 3-1.
The 2nd seed Lui Hui Lam (HK) had an easy outing against her compatriot Chan Siu Ting in the other semi finals winning 3-0. Both these players met in the semi-finals of the Milo Open with Kah Yan emerging victorious. Revenge time tomorrow.
S.Maniam, Technical Delegate
20th Asian Junior Squash Championships, semi-finals:
 Muhammad Hafiz Abdul Harif (Mas) 3-0 [5/8] Sakahan Choudary (Ind) 11/5, 11/3, 11/6
 Veer Chotrani (Ind) 3-2 [3/4] Yee Xian Siow (Mas) 6/11, 13//11, 9/11, 11/4, 11/8
[3/4] Kah yan Ooi (Mas) 3-1  Aifa Azman (Mas) 4/11, 11/8, 11/9, 11/8
 Liu Hiu Lam (Hkg) 3-0 [3/4] Chan Siu Ting (Hkg) 11/6, 11/9, 11/1
 Mohd Farez Mukhtar (Mas) 3-1 [3/4] Robin Maan (Ind) 11/9, 9/11, 13/11, 11/2
 Mohammad Alsarraj (Jar) 3-0 [3/4] Ranjut Singh (Ind) 11/8, 11/8, 12/10
[3/4] Zoe Yuk Han Foo (Mas) 3-1  Sivasangari Subramanian (Mas) 11/9, 8/11, 11/3, 11/6
 Andrea Jia Qi Lee (Mas) 3-0 [3/4] Ho Ka Wing (Hkg) 12/10, 13/11, 11/8
 Mohammad Syafiq Kamal (Mas) 3-0 [3/4] Yuen Tsun Hei (Hkg) 12/10, 11/8, 11/4
 Eain Yow Ng (Mas) 3-0 [3/5] Darren Ti Lunn Chan (Mas) 11/9, 11/5, 11/7
 Chou Uen Shan (Hkg) 3-0 [3/4] Mihiliya Methsarani (Sri) 11/5, 11/6, 11/6
[3/4] Nazihah Hanis Abd Razak (Mas) 3-2  Harshit Kaur Jawanda (Ind) 8/11, 11/7, 11/6, 6/11, 11/7
 Ahmad Alsaraj (Jor) 3-1 [3/4] Tayyab Aslam (Pak) 11/9, 10/12, 11/5, 11/7
 Syed Ali Bokhari (Pak) 3-1 [3/4] Kush Kumar (Ind) 13/11, 5/11, 11/6, 11/9
 Anaka Alankamony (Ind) 3-1 [5/8] Vanessa Raj (Mas) 11/6, 6/11, 11/3, 11/6
 Ho Ka Po (Hkg) v3-1Pansy Chan (Hkg) 11/7, 11/5, 8/11, 11/9