Back in Chennai again to compete in the Asian Championships. This time it was a little different because I was playing for the Malaysian team. Quite a nice feeling and I fed off the energy the team had to offer.
A lot of the other teams we met here at the Asians do not have the same luxury to play the PSA or WISPA tournaments like us Malaysians so it was great to see the excitement when they were competing in this event.
The tournament keeps on growing each time I compete—and everyone kept reminding me that I’ve played this tournament for 14 years already. A little hint of how old I am now!
I played Gu Jinyue from China in the first round, then Elise Ng from Hong Kong in the second round. Interesting seeing the Chinese involved in squash and with their background in Badminton, they applied themselves well. Elise put together some good rallies and I had to put the ball away from her control.
Song Sun Mi from Korea was a determined player and kept working the ball nicely with some Badminton influences as well with the volleys. We had some long rallies and I kept my focus in the end of each game to win it 3-0.
Dipika Pallikal was growing with confidence with the home crowd behind her and I knew I had to keep the pressure on. All throughout the match, I could feel her taking her chances when she could but I made sure in the last game to not let her in.
Rebecca Chiu and I have been in the Asian finals so many times and this one seemed like how we always played. She took on the openings and most of her shots were winners. I tightened up my game a bit more and brought the pace up. A few errors from her and moments later, I regained my Asian title once again.
THE TEAM EVENT
Day 5 – Malaysia vs. Korea (1. Song Sun Mi, 2. Park Eun Ok, 3. Kim Ga Hye)
I rested today while the team played well to beat Korea 3-0. Delia won in a convincing manner in 3 games. Wee Wern was still getting into her rhythm in the first game but regained her form to win 3-1 and Sharon came through with a clean 3-0 win.
Day 6 – Malaysia vs. Japan (1. Misaki Kobayashi, 2. Miwa Maekawa, 3. Kozue Onizawa)
We fielded the full team to prepare for our cross over match. Delia started off with a solid display to win 3-0, I had a nice flow through my match winning in straight games and Wee Wern took it on for the team to finish it in 3.
Day 7 – Semi Finals: Malaysia vs. Hong Kong (1. Rebecca Chiu, 2. Annie Au, 3. Joey Chan)
Playing Hong Kong in the semis was a completely different situation for us. The Malaysian girls were set to give it their all. Wee Wern worked hard to get her first game. Joey started attacking more but Wee Wern went for the grind til the end but lost 3-1. My turn to get going and I was firing all the way through to win 3-0. Delia went on next and Annie was on the ball today. Delia kept pushing through and wanted it badly but Annie just managed to squeeze in the victory for the Hong Kong team.
A great experience for the team and a good display of their determination that will take them far.
The overall results having Mohd Azlan Iskandar win the Men’s title was a treat but Pakistan was better on the day of the finals in the team event and Malaysia took second place. Pakistan are tough competitors and fair play to our team who gave it their best.
Now I’m onto a good two months of training in Amsterdam to build up for next season starting from the Malaysian Open. See you there!!