15th Asian Games 2006

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15th Asian Games
, Qatar
10th to 14th December 2006



Nicol David & Ong Beng Hee In Double Asian Games Gold Triumph For Malaysia 

Malaysia celebrated a unique squash gold double in the 15th Asian Games today (Thursday) when world number one Nicol David defeated title-holder Rebecca Chiu in the women's final and Ong Beng Hee retained the men's crown after fighting back from a game down against compatriot Mohd Azlan Iskandar at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar.


As expected, Nicol David exorcised her demons of the last Asian Games by triumphing in the women’s singles.  Four years ago, the Penangite suffered a devastating loss to Rebecca Chiu in the final in Korea which caused her to take a four-month break from the game to reassess her career in the sport.


But it was a whole different story this time as she brushed aside her rival from Hong Kong 9–0, 9–3, 9–3 in just 34 minutes.


Clad in a striking red and black outfit, the Malaysian 23-year-old was a picture of concentration and determination as she took to the court.  David stamped her authority on the game early on and raced into a 3–0 lead.  She made good use of the court to stretch that advantage to 5–0.  Try as she might, Chiu had no answer to the world champion's incessant pressure and the opening game ended with a 9–0 whitewash in just six minutes.


David began the second game in similar fashion, winning the first point by varying her pace.  Chiu finally broke the ice with a powerful shot to the right-hand corner of the court.  But David was soon on top again and, after a series of long rallies, stretched her lead to 4–1, before wrapping up the second game 9–3.


In the third, the world number one raced into a 3–0 lead.  The defending champion managed to win a few points after an impressive array of shots and evened the score at 3-3.  But David, the 1998 champion, returned with a series of clinical executions to confirm her status as the Asian Games' top player and seal the match with a 9–3 score in the final game.


Nicol David's gold marked the 200th for Malaysia in the history of the Asian Games!


After the game, David was keen to play down any talk of revenge:  "There is no thought of revenge.  It is more about wanting to win that medal.  She is a hard player to play and I had to keep her out of her comfort zone.


“It was a good match and I feel really ecstatic.  It was the last day of the last tournament of the year and there was so much pressure on both girls leading into the game.  It has been a great year and a great way to finish off by winning here.”


Chiu said:  “I played just normally.  Nicol overpowered me and put me under great pressure.  I think I should have been more patient.  I need to work hard to win against her.  I knew it before I started the match.  She is so much better than me.  Her speed and strength were superior, so I couldn’t perform to my full potential.  It was easier for her to get a point and very hard for me to respond.”


In the men's final that followed, Ong Beng Hee confirmed his status as the top player in the region when he beat the higher-ranked Iskandar 5-9, 9-1, 10-9, 9-5 in 73 minutes – appropriately the longest match of the tournament.


Beng Hee, for many years the top-ranked man in Malaysia, won the Asian Games gold medal four years ago in Korea.  But since then, the 26-year-old from Kuala Lumpur has twice lost to his 24-year-old fellow countryman – and Iskandar is currently ranked 13 in the world, five places above Beng Hee.


The pair have been playing each other for a very long time now.  At the Asian Championships in Chinese Taipei earlier in the year, Beng Hee beat Azlan 3/0.  Earlier that month Azlan had beaten Beng Hee in a closely-contested final of the Kuala Lumpur Open.  They may have differing styles of play, but they know each other's game well and their level of play is almost similar.  Unlike the women's match there was no clear favourite.


The first game was played at a medium pace with Azlan being the steadier of the two.  Beng Hee's game was laced with far too many errors and he promptly lost the game.   Beng Hee increased the pace in the second and top seed Iskandar started making the errors.  The third was more or less the same as second seed Beng Hee raced to an 8-5 lead.


Azlan forged a comeback to make it 8-8 but a couple of errors saw him lose 10-8.  The fourth was close until half way, when the title-holder smelled blood and attacked all the way to the crown for the second time in a row.


While Nicol David - whose title haul for the year is now eight and her unbeaten run stretched to 36 matches since July – will return to her home in Penang for Christmas, both Ong Beng Hee and Mohd Azlan Iskandar will race to Saudi Arabia to compete in the Saudi International in Al-Khobar.  The second richest PSA Tour event of the year gets underway on Saturday (16 December), with Iskandar seeded 10th and Beng Hee 11th.

Semi Finals

Double Asian Games Gold Beckons For Malaysia

A first squash gold medal double is on the cards for Malaysia in the 15th Asian Games in Qatar after world number one Nicol David cruised into the women's final following an emphatic victory in today's (Wednesday) semi-finals – and Mohd Azlan Iskandar and Ong Beng Hee set up the anticipated all-Malaysian men's final at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.


Top seed Nicol David and No2 seed Rebecca Chiu, the title-holder from Hong Kong , were too strong for their respective opponents in the women's semi-finals. 


"David's movement was so efficient and her shot selection so effective that it was a joy to watch," said ASF Technical Delegate Major Maniam after the 23-year-old from Penang's 9-0, 9-1, 9-0 victory over Hong Kong 's Christina Mak.


Chiu also played brilliantly to contain her opponent Sharon Wee, beating the 3/4 seed from Malaysia 9-6, 9-1, 9-3 to set up a repeat of the 1998 and 2002 women's finals.


By contrast, the men's semi-finals were more evenly-contested affairs:  The diminutive Saurav Ghosal, the 5/8 seed from India who secured an unexpected place in the medals after upsetting compatriot Ritwik Bhattacharya in the previous round, had the crowd entertained with his delightful front game and his awesome retrieving skills.


His opponent Ong Beng Hee picked up almost all of Saurav's attacking shots to the front - and at the same time threw in a few of his own to take a two-game lead.  Ghosal continued with the same sort of game in the third and slowly it began to produce results.  Beng Hee was either getting a little late to the ball or was tinning his returns – with the result that the Indian underdog took a well-deserved third game.


The fourth was looking good for Ghosal as he raced to a 4-1 lead with, yet again, delicate drop shots. The defending champion from Malaysia decided that he should keep Saurav away from the front and went back to playing a lot more lobs as he did in the first two games.  Rallies were now getting longer and Ghosal's legs getting wearier.  Beng Hee finished off well to win 9-1, 9-2, 6-9, 9-4 and earn himself a place in his second successive final.


The last semi-final of the day was also fought well by both players.  The beautiful touch of 3/4 seed Mansoor Zaman took the Pakistani to a 6-1 lead in the first game, a 6-1 lead in the second and a 7-2 lead in the third.  However, all three times he lost as top seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar determinedly stuck to his task, playing aggressive lengths and drops.


Ultimately it was Iskandar's consistency that made the difference as the world No13 battled to a 10-8, 9-6, 9-7 victory – and a place in his maiden Asian Games final.

Quarter Finals
India's Ghosal Gets In The Medals In Doha

India is set to win its first squash medal in the 15th Asian Games after Saurav Ghosal upset his higher-seeded compatriot Ritwik Bhattacharya in the quarter-finals at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar.


In the only match of the day fought out between two nationals, 3/4 seed Bhattacharya took on the fast-improving Ghosal, the 5/8 seed making his debut in the Games.  At 4-2 in the first game, Ritwik sustained a slight nick on his nose – which resulted in a delay while the injury was attended to.


Once play resumed, 20-year-old Ghosal zipped around the court, playing delightful lengths and awesome finishing shots to take the first game.  The second was no contest as the youngster, who is studying at Leeds University in the UK, romped home to extend his lead without dropping a point.


Saurav's drops were tight and low and the lethargic Ritwik was not able to cope.  Being two games down, however, seemed to spur Bhattacharya on as he came back fighting, forcing Ghosal to make a string of errors.  This, coupled with the more experienced player's own attacking drop shots, led Bhattacharya to take the third game.


The fourth game was fought neck and neck, but Ghosal's consistency shone through as he romped to a 9-4, 9-0, 6-9, 9-7 victory in 69 minutes to guarantee himself at least a bronze medal.


"It was a well-deserved victory for Saurav," said ASF Technical Delegate Major Maniam.


The Indian national champion from Chennai will now face Malaysia's defending champion Ong Beng Hee for a place in the men's final.   It was shaky start for the No2 seed in his first match of the championship, but once the four-times Asian champion settled down against Ali Alramezi, he soon earned a comfortable win, beating the 5/8 seed from Kuwait 9-6, 9-1, 9-0.


The other men's semi-final will also have Malaysian interest after favourite Mohd Azlan Iskandar beat Pakistan's 5/8 seed Aamir Atlas Khan 9-7, 9-5, 9-2 in the final match of the day. 


It was a matter of "the best being saved for the last" as, just a few weeks ago, Iskandar had lost to the 16-year-old in Pakistan.  It was time for revenge for the world No 13.  What started promisingly ended tamely, however, with the Malaysian stamping his authority right from the start with effective short straight and cross court drives and some delicately executed straight drops.


Iskandar will take on another Pakistani, 3/4 seed Mansoor Zaman, after the silver medallist in 2002 beat Hong Kong's Wai Hang Wong 9-7, 9-5, 10-8.


In the women's event, the eager crowd was able to see favourite Nicol David in action for the first time.  Fresh from her success in last month's World Open Championship in Belfast, the world number one from Malaysia opened her 2006 Asian Games campaign against South Korea's Eun Ok Park – and comfortably beat the 5/8 seed 9-0, 9-0, 9-4.


David will face Christina Mak for a place in her third final in a row after the 3/4 seed from Hong Kong beat Japan's Mami Nishio 9-7, 9-1, 9-3.


Defending women's gold medallist Rebecca Chiu, of Hong Kong, made short work of Joshna Chinappa – beating the Indian No1 9-3, 9-1, 9-2.  Chiu, the second seed, now meets Malaysia's 3/4 seed Sharon Wee, the 9-3, 9-2, 9-2 winner over Japan's Chinatsu Matsui.

Day 1

Top Seeds Safely Through In Doha

The top seeds successfully overcame their initial hurdles in the squash championships in the 15th Asian Games at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar.


The championships, which have attracted the region's top squash players, boast an elite international field – led by Malaysia's world number one and world champion Nicol David in the women's event and Mohd Azlan Iskandar, also from Malaysia, the world No13 in the men's.


David, with a bye in the first round, has yet to make her debut in the 2006 event – but her great rival Rebecca Chiu, the title-holder from Hong Kong, today eased into the last eight with a 9-2, 9-6, 9-1 victory over China's Zhenzhen Wu in 14 minutes.


Indian star Joshna Chinappa faced a tough first round opponent in Eun Chan Ahn.  The South Korean was quick and hit some brilliant winners from all parts of the court – severely testing the 20-year-old 5/8 seed from Chennai who, according to Indian National Coach Cyrus Poncha, was "well below par".


Chinappa clinched the match 10-8, 4-9, 9-7, 9-4 after 44 minutes – and will now face Rebecca Chiu for a place in the semi-finals.


The top two seeds in the men's event claimed their quarter-final places in contrasting styles.  Favourite Iskandar defeated 24-year-old South Korean Kim Sung Young 9-3, 9-2, 9-0 in 26 minutes while fellow Malaysian Ong Beng Hee, the defending champion who is seeded two, walked into the last eight after being handed a walkover by Ahmad Al Zabidi, from Jordan.


Kuwaiti Ali Alramezi has not had the ideal preparation for his quarter-final clash with Ong Beng Hee.  The 19-year-old 5/8 seed from Kuwait City twice had to fight from behind to beat Hong Kong's Roger Ngan 2-9, 9-1, 2-9, 9-2, 9-1 in a 61-minute marathon – the longest match of the round.

Asian Squash Hero Jahangir Khan Witnesses Start Of Asian Games

Asian squash legend Jahangir Khan celebrated his 43rd birthday today (Sunday) at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar, where he attended the first day's play in the sport in the 15th Asian Games.

Khan, the record ten-times British Open champion from Pakistan who is now President of the World Squash Federation (WSF), was joined by Asian Squash Federation (ASF) President Mr N Ramachandran.


There were no surprises in the completed first round of the men's event and the top half of the draw in the women's championship. 


Sun Kin Peng, of Macau, was the only winner taken to more than three games when Lebanon 's Michel Zeinaty clinched the second to level the match.  After a tough third game, Peng extended his lead before securing a place in the second round after a 9-4, 3-9, 9-7, 9-4 victory.


After a bye in the first round, Malaysia 's Ong Beng Hee begins his men's title defence on Monday against Jordan 's Ahmad Al Zabidi.  Beng Hee, the No2 seed, is expected to meet compatriot Mohd Azlan Iskandar, the top seed, in the final on Thursday.


Although the top half of the women's event took place today, with the lower half being played on Monday, favourite Nicol David will not enter the fray until the quarter-finals on Tuesday after receiving a first round bye.  The 23-year-old Malaysian arrives in Qatar as the World champion for the second successive year, after clinching the title in sensational style last month in Belfast, Northern Ireland.


David is eager to reclaim the Asian Games title from Hong Kong rival Rebecca Chiu.  Winner of her fifth successive Asian Championship title earlier this year in Taiwan , David surrendered her Games crown to Chiu in the 2002 event in South Korea – and is expected to face the second seed in the women's final at the Khalifa Complex.


"It was a fine start to a wonderfully-organised event," said ASF Technical Director Major Maniam.  "Local officials Mr Khalid Obaidly and Mr Gamal Jasem have worked relentlessly to ensure a smooth running of the event."

Men's Draw
Men's Seeding

Women's Draw
Women's Seeding

Day 1



Men's Draw
15th ASIAN GAMES 2006
First Round
Second Round
Mohd Azlan Iskandar  (MAS)
Mohd Azlan Iskandar
9-3, 9-2, 9-0 (26m)
KIM Sung Youn
Mohd Azlan Iskandar
9-7, 9-5, 9-2 (43m)
Amir Atlas KHAN
Mohd Azlan Iskandar
10-8, 9-6, 9-7 (63m)
Mansoor ZAMAN
Mohd Azlan Iskandar
5-9, 9-1, 10-9, 9-5 (73m)
ONG Beng Hee

Hussain Khalil ALI (BRN)
9-5, 9-1, 9-4
KIM Sung Young (KOR)

9-4, 9-7, 9-0
ALI-A Shahaib (IRQ)
9-2, 9-0, 9-5 (26m)
Amir Atlas KHAN
9-0, 9-0, 9-1
Wai Hang WONG (HKG)
9-0, 9-0, 9-0
AL MALKI Abdulrahman (QAT)
Wai Hang WONG
9-1, 9-3, 9-2 (19m)
Wai Hang WONG
9-7, 9-5, 10-8 (56m)

Mansoor ZAMAN
9-4, 3-9, 9-7, 9-4
AL ZBAIDI Mohammad (JOR)
9-0, 9-1, 9-0 (15m)
Mansoor ZAMAN
Mansoor ZAMAN (PAK)
9-1, 9-2, 9-1 (19m)
Eranga Alwis

9-4, 9-0, 6-9, 9-7 (69m)
Saurav Ghosal  
Saurav Ghosal
9-1, 9-2, 6-9, 9-4 (47m)
ONG Beng Hee
9-2, 9-3, 9-3
Eranga Nuwan Alwis (SRI)
KIM Dong Woo (KOR)
9-1, 9-1, 9-4
AL MARRI Abdulhadi (QAT)
KIM Dong Woo
9-0, 9-3, 9-1 (30m)
Saurav Ghosal
AMANTE Armando (MAC)
9-0, 9-3, 9-0
Ali Alramezi  (KUW)
9-2, 9-4, 9-5
GARCIA Robert  (PHI)
Ali Alramezi
2-9, 9-1, 2-9, 9-2, 9-1 (61m)
Roger Ngan
Ali Alramezi
9-6, 9-1, 9-0 (22m)
ONG Beng Hee
Roger Ngan (HKG)

CAI Pinghua (CHN)

ONG Beng Hee

ONG Beng Hee (MAS)

Men's Seeding
ISKANDAR MohamadAzlan (MAS)
ONG Beng Hee (MAS)
ZAMAN Mansoor (PAK)
WONG Wai Hang (HKG)


15th ASIAN GAMES 2006
Round One
11th Dec
12th Dec
13th Dec
14th Dec
Nicol David   (MAS)
Nicol David
9-0, 9-0, 9-4 (22m)
Eun Ok Park
Nicol David
9-0, 9-1, 9-0 (25m)
Christina Mak
Nicol David
9-0, 9-3, 9-3 (34m)
Rebecca Chiu

TORO Dareen (LIB)
9-0, 9-0, 9-0
Eun Ok Park   (KOR)

Mami Nishio (JPN)
9-1, 9-2, 9-1
GURUGE Nirasha (SRI)

Mami Nishio
9-7, 9-1, 9-3 (36m)
Christina Mak
CHAN Si Man Wendy (MAC)
9-2, 9-4, 9-3
Christina Mak  (HKG)
Sharon Wee (MAS)
9-0, 9-0, 9-0 (11m)
KUOK Chi Leng Joyce(MAC)
Sharon Wee
9-3, 9-2, 9-2 (29m)
Chinatsu Matsui
Sharon Wee
9-6, 9-1, 9-3 (35m)
Rebecca Chiu
9-0, 9-2, 9-3 (19m)
Chinatsu Matsui (JPN)
Joshna Chinappa  (IND)
10-8, 4-9, 9-7, 9-4 (44m)
AHN Eun Tschan (KOR)
Joshna Chinappa
9-3, 9-1, 9-2 (21m)
Rebecca Chiu
WU Zhenzhen (CHN)
9-2, 9-6, 9-1 (14m)
Rebecca Chiu (HKG)

Women's Seedings
1 DAVID Nicol Ann (MAS)

2 CHIU Wing Yin (HKG)
3/4 WEE Sharon Ee Lin (MAS)
3/4 MAK Pui Hin (HKG)
5/8 PARK Eun Ok (KOR)
5/8 CHINAPPA Joshana (IND)
5/8 MATSUI Chinatsu(JPN)
5/8 NISHIO Mami (JPN)



World Champion David & Iskandar Set For Asian Games Malaysian Double

After a short break to celebrate her successful defence of the World Open Squash Championship title in Belfast on Sunday, Malaysian Nicol David must set her sights on reclaiming a major title she does not hold, at the Asian Games in Qatar in December.

David and compatriot Mohd Azlan Iskandar have been named as top squash seeds in the sport's third appearance in the quadrennial Asian Games, in Doha from 10-14 December.

In the 2002 Games in Busan, South Korea, Nicol David suffered a rare loss in the women's final to Rebecca Chiu, the Hong Kong number one whom she is seeded to meet in the Doha final. The anticipated meeting would also be a repeat of the 1998 final, which was won by the Malaysian.

"The Asian Games is very important to me, in a different way from the World Open," said David after her epic 95-minute five-game victory over Australia's three-times Commonwealth Games gold medallist Natalie Grinham at the Ulster Hall in the Northern Ireland capital.

"You are part of your country's whole team of athletes from a number of different sports. There's been a huge build-up the Games – and winning something like that is a whole different feeling," said the 23-year-old from Penang whose second World Open title triumph stretched her unbeaten international run to 33 matches!

After a bye in the first round, David is expected to go on to face Hong Kong's Christina Mak in the semi-finals, before the anticipated final clash with Chiu.

Top men's seed Iskandar, whose only previous performance in the event was a semi-final finish four years ago, is expected to meet Malaysian rival Ong Beng Hee, the defending champion, in the final.

The pair will face stiff competition, however, from Pakistanis Mansoor Zaman and Aamir Atlas Khan, seeded 3/4 and 5/8, respectively, and Indians Ritwik Bhattacharya and the Saurav Ghosal, also seeded 3/4 and 5/8.

The Asian Games draw was made on in Chennai, India - conducted at the Sports Development Authority of Tamilnadu in Chennai by Ms Apoorva, IAS (Indian Administrative Service), Member Secretary of the Sports Development Authority of Tamilnadu (which is equivalent to Director of Sports, Tamilnadu), in the presence of The President of the Asian Squash Federation (ASF); the Secretary General of the ASF; and the Technical Delegate for the 15th Asian Games, Doha.

The seedings were set by Major Maniam, Director of Coaching, ASF; Tony Choi, Deputy Director of Coaching, ASF; and Fahim Gul Khan, Deputy Director of Coaching, ASF.



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