Pre-tournament favourites India and Hong Kong, China made strong starts in China as the first squash events of the 19th Asian Games got underway at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre.
In Pool A in the women’s draw, top seeds Hong Kong, China were in imperious form, overpowering Mongolia 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.
This was my last Asian Games Gold medal I won for Malaysia in Jakarta 2018.
As we start the squash event today, I want to wish our Malaysian squash team and the Malaysian contingent all the best in Hangzhou! Proud of everyone of you out there doing your best for Malaysia. 🇲🇾💪🏼 pic.twitter.com/pAJomSGs0b
— Nicol David (@NicolDavid) September 26, 2023
In the men’s draw, 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 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.
First, 2014 Asian Games champion Abdullah Almezayen blasted past Samuel Kang in 27 minutes, before Ammar Al Tamimi got his side over the line in an entertaining 11-5, 13-11, 11-7 win over Aaron Liang.
— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) September 26, 2023
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.”