Asian team squash championships: India men fall short in final as Malaysia earns double

India started on the wrong note when its top player and World No.15 Saurav Ghosal went down 10-12, 4-11, 8-11 without much of a fight to Ng Eain Yow, ranked 18th in the world.

The Indian men bagged a silver medal while the women's side earned a bronze.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Malaysia put up a dominating performance to outwit India 2-1 in the men's final of the Asian team squash championships on Saturday. For India, it was a third opportunity missed, having lost in the summit clash twice before in 1981 & 2012.

It was a 'double' for Malaysia as its women's team defeated Hong Kong 2-1 in the final. The last time the Malaysian men's and women's teams won a ‘double’ was in the 2008 championships in Kuwait.

India started on the wrong note when India's top player and World No.15 Saurav Ghosal went down 10-12, 4-11, 8-11 without much of a fight to Ng Eain Yow, ranked 18th in the world.

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However, Mahesh Mangaonkar did well to reverse the tide with a fantastic and aggressive 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 victory over Mohammad Shafiq Kamal in the second tie.

Ramit Tandon offered some hope in the third and deciding rubber when he bagged the second game after losing the first to Ivan Yuen. In the subsequent two games, the Malaysian played outstandingly - hitting winners from all corners of the court making Ramit a mere spectator. The Indian lost 8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 1-11.

Speaking at the prize distribution ceremony, Yuen said: "This is a young team. We had put in a lot of effort for the victory. As a senior member of the team, it was my responsibility to be the leader. It feels great to win two gold medals on home soil. Thanks to everyone who came and cheered for us. It made us fight harder."

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The results (finals):

Men:
Malaysia bt India 2-1 (Ng Eain Yow bt Saurav Ghosal 12-10, 11-4, 11-8; Mohammad Syafiq Kamal lost to Mahesh Mangaonkar 9-11, 7-11, 8-11; Ivan Yuen bt Ramit Tandon 11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 11-1).

Women: Malaysia bt Hong Kong 2-1 (Rachel Arnold bt Liu Tsz-Ling 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-2; Ainaa Amani lost to Tong Tsz Wing 8-11, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11; Aifa Azman bt Tsz Lok Ho 11-4, 11-3, 11-6).

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