HANGZHOU: The national women’s squash team have remained on course for the Asian Games team event gold by beating South Korea 2-0 in the semifinals at the Hangzhou Olympic Sport Centre Squash Court.
The second-seeded Malaysians started well with Aifa Azman needing only 20 minutes to beat Eum Hwayeong 11-4, 11-1, 11-8 to deliver the first point.
S Sivasangari then outclassed Lee Jihyun 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 to clinch the comfortable victory, while the other members of the team, Rachel Arnold and Aira Azman, did not have to raise a sweat.
“Aifa started off well. She was sharper and more confident than yesterday, which boosted our confidence level as well. I went in with confidence and just tried to stay positive for the win,” Sivasangari said after the match.
However, in their attempt to wrest back the team title, the girls will face a stern test against top seeds and defending champions Hong Kong, who ousted the last Asian Games’ silver medallists India 2-1 in the other semifinal.
Commenting on tomorrow’s match, Rachel said they are familiar with the Hong Kong team after playing them in many tournaments.
“We will go back and do an analysis on our game and their game as preparations. Hopefully, we can do well,” she added.
Malaysia, then led by former squash great Nicol David, won the gold back-to-back in Guangzhou 2010 when the team event was introduced and in the Incheon 2014 edition, but had to be satisfied with bronze in Jakarta-Palembang 2018 after going down in the semifinals against India.