Friday, January 27, 2023

Pakistan, Malaysia and England claim regional successes

England celebrate in Poland
England celebrate in Poland

England celebrate Euro double
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent


While Pakistan and Malaysia triumphed in the men’s and women’s Asian Team Squash Championships, respectively, in Chinese Taipei, England recorded an unexpected double in Poland where the 44th edition of the European Team Championships were held for the first time.

Second seeds Pakistan secured the men’s Asian title for the fourth time in a row after wins by Farhan Mehboob and Farhan Zaman in the final against Hong Kong China, the favourites who were making their first appearance in the final since 1996.

Meanwhile, bronze medallists Japan were celebrating their first ever finish in the last four.

There was also a successful title defence in the women’s championship – but Malaysia achieved their success as third seeds, without the services of event veterans Nicol David, the former world number one, and Low Wee Wern, a world number five.

Led by sisters Delia Arnold and Rachel Arnold, Malaysia topped the Pool B qualifying group against expectations after upsetting India – then repeated their success against the second seeds in the final with wins by Sivasangari Subramaniam and Delia Arnold.

Firm favourites England dropped just a sole match en-route to the women’s European championship final – then, in the third successive final against France, despatched the No.2 seeds 2-0 following wins by former world No.1 Laura Massaro and Victoria Lust to claim the title for the 38th time.

After losing to France in the 2015 final, England were underdogs in the men’s event in Warsaw. But the two countries lined up in the final for the 9th successive year – and the second seeds triumphed 2-1 after victories by Chris Simpson and Tom Richards, and a significant game win by James Willstrop in his 3-1 defeat to career-long rival Gregory Gaultier.

A 3-1 win over Germany in the third-place play-off saw Scotland record their highest finish since 1999.

The Malaysian women's team with coach Ong Being Hee (right)
The Malaysian women’s team with coach Ong Being Hee (right)

Regional Championship results.

Asian Team Championships, New Taipei City, Chinese Taipei

Men’s final:

[2] PAKISTAN bt [1] HONG KONG CHINA 2/0 (Farhan Mehboob bt Tang Ming Hong 11-4, 11-7, 11-4; Farhan Zaman bt Max Lee 9-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9)

Bronze medals: [5] JAPAN & [4] INDIA

Women’s final:

[3] MALAYSIA bt [2] INDIA 2/0 (Sivasangari Subramaniam bt Sachika Ingale 11-7, 11-6, 12-10; Delia Arnold bt Joshna Chinappa 9-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-9)

Bronze medals: [1] HONG KONG CHINA & [4] JAPAN

European Team Championships, Warsaw, Poland

Men’s Final:

[2] ENGLAND bt [1] FRANCE 2/1 (Chris Simpson bt Lucas Serme 11-4, 11-1, 11-3 (34m); James Willstrop lost to Gregory Gaultier 7-11, 7-11, 11-4, 1-11 (44m); Tom Richards bt Geoffrey Demont 11-8, 11-6, 11-2 (37m))

3rd place play-off:

[4] SCOTLAND bt [3] GERMANY 3/1 (Douglas Kempsell bt Rudi Rohrmuller 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-8 (81m); Alan Clyne lost to Simon Rösner 15-13, 11-4, 5-11, 5-11, 5-11 (69m); Kevin Moran bt Lucas Wirths 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-3 (49m); Greg Lobban bt Raphael Kandra 6-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 ret. (64m))

Women’s Final:

[1] ENGLAND bt [2] FRANCE 2/0 (Victoria Lust bt Laura Pomportes 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (29m); Laura Massaro bt Camille Serme 11-5, 11-1, 11-6 (30m))

3rd place play-off:

[7] NETHERLANDS bt [4] WALES 2/1 (Tessa ter Sluis bt Jenny Haley 8-11, 11-8, 13-11, 5-11, 11-9 (39m); Natalie Grinham lost to Tesni Evans 7-11, 5-11, 11-4, 7-11 (32m); Milou van der Heijden bt Deon Saffery 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7 (36m)) 

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