Monday, March 27, 2023

Wee Wern’s Double First At World University Championships

The winning Malaysia team
The winning Malaysia team

Do or die as Sanjay fights back to win
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent


A dramatic fightback in the final of the World University Team Squash Championship saw hosts Malaysia overcome top seeds Hong Kong to win the title for the first time in the event’s 20-year history.

The triumph in the ninth staging of the event in the Nicol David Arena at the Bukit Jalil National Squash Centre in Kuala Lumpur also earned Low Wee Wern a second gold medal after the KDU Penang University student earlier won the women’s individual title.

Hong Kong took the lead after men’s champion Yip Tsz Fung won the opening match 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 against Ivan Yuen, his opponent in the individual final.

The second match was also a repeat of the women’s final in which Wee Wern levelled the tie after 32 minutes with a 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 victory over Tong Tsz-Wing.

After establishing a 2-1 lead in the decider, Hong Kong’s Wong Chi Him taking the third game against Sanjay Singh Chal 11-1, the event favourites looked to be coasting to their anticipated victory over the second seeds.

“It’s do or die right now, you gotta push to the end,” Malaysian national coach Ong Beng Hee told Chal after the third game.

The rejuvenated second string stormed back to win the remaining two games to clinch victory for the hosts – much to the delight of the partisan crowd.

Chal, majoring in Business at the University of Malaya, looked down and out of the contest after surrendering meekly in the third game.

“After the third game, Beng Hee was saying that I was flagging, I didn’t up the pace. You gotta push to the end, you don’t want to disappoint Malaysia,” explained left-hander Chal after his 11-8, 4-11, 1-11, 11-9, 11-7 win in 57 minutes.

“With the crowd behind me, and Malaysia in my heart, I managed to pull through for the win.”

World University Team Squash Championship, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Ivan Yuen lost to Yip Tsz Fung 6-11, 8-11, 9-11 (44m)
Low Wee Wern bt Tong Tsz-Wing 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (32m)
Sanjay Singh Chal bt Wong Chi Him 11-8, 4-11, 1-11, 11-9, 11-7 (57m)

Bronze medallists: [5] JAPAN & [6] SOUTH AFRICA

5th place play-off: [3] GREAT BRITAIN bt [4] REPUBLIC OF KOREA 2/1
7th place play-off: [7] SWITZERLAND bt [9] AUSTRALIA 2/1
9th place play-off: [10] CHINA bt [8] PAKISTAN 3/0
11th place: [11] LEBANON 

Picture courtesy of WSF


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