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There Can Only Be Wan: Adnan, David Win Asian Titles

16th Asian Individual Squash Championships 2011, Penang, Malaysia

Women's Championship
[1] Nicol David  (MAS) bt 
[2] Au Wing-Chi Annie (HK)  11-3, 11-2, 11-5 (23min)

Men's Championship
[1] Ong Beng Hee (MAS)  
11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8  (64min)

There Can Only Be Wan: Adnan, David Win Asian Titles

Malaysians  Mohd. Nafiizwan Adnan and Nicol David claimed both the men's and women's championships, respectively, at the 2011 Asian Individual Squash Championships held at the Nicol David International Squash Center in Penang, Malaysia.   It is the first title for Adnan, in his first ever appearance in the final.   Women's top seed, David, won her 8th consecutive title.

With a second upset in as many days, Adnan who goes by 'Wan' on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour, defeated top seeded Ong in a tenacious and physical final.  "I thought if I kept him behind me, I could outplay him at the front," said an exuberant Adnan.  Indeed, Ong had a view from the back, but fought to the end as he was pushed by the raucous crowd who favored him.  "I'm disappointed with my performance today, but Wan played well as he had all tournament," said Ong afterwards.

The women's final, in a match belying their seedings, was a lopsided affair.  The World Champion from Penang, David dominated from the opening serve, quickly earning an eighth Asian title to her collection over Au, ranked 11th in the world.  

Spurred before a passionate and loyal crowd that included her family, in the squash facility that bears her name, David was relentless and never allowed Au into the match.  "Annie is a player, that, if you let her get into her rhythm, it becomes a very different game.  I wanted to make sure she didn't," commented David after the brief 23-minute match, suggestive of just how dominating she was.  

Womenís Semi final:
 Au Wing-Chi Annie (HKG) bt [3/4] Low Wee Wern (MAS) 12-10, 10-12, 13-11, 12-10 (86min)
 Nicol David (MAS) bt [3/4] Delia Odette Arnold (MAS) 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (26min)

Menís Semi final:
[1] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt [5/8] Siddharth Suchde (IND) 11-6, 11-9, 6-11, 10-12, 11-4 (89min)
 Mohd Nafizwan Mohd Adnan (MAS) bt [2] Farhan Mehboob (PAK) 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 (52min)

Quarter Finals
Suchde, Arnold Hold on in Quarterfinal Thrillers

It was an exciting night of squash at the Nicol David International Squash Center in Penang, Malaysia, as the 2011 Asian Individual Championships continued today with quarterfinal play.  

India's Siddarth Suchde staged an impressive victory over Kuwait's Abdullah Khalid H. Al-Mezayen.  In a closely contested match, the players demonstrated deceptive racket skills, creative use of the court and an array of shots before an appreciative Penang crowd.  The match went to a fifth set decider, exactly what the tense crowd was hoping for.  "You never know what to expect of him [Al-Mezayen]," said Suchde.  "But it wasn't just that I lost the fourth, it was how I lost it.  I was up 7-5 and he won it 11-8.  He outscored me 6-1 to finish it,"  Suchde continued, "In the fifth I reminded myself of how I got here and tried to stick to a basic game plan."  

Suchde will now face Malaysia's Ong Beng Hee for a spot in the final.  "Last time I played Beng Hee, he beat me 3-2 in India.  I would like to beat him in Malaysia," Suchde said.  

In a highly anticipated match, Malaysia's Delia Arnold withstood a fierce fifth game come back from India's Dipika Pallikal.  After quickly trailing 2-8 in the fifth, Pallikal fought back to tie the decider at 9.  Arnold was able to finish with the partisan crowd passionately pushing her on. Arnold joins teammates Low Wee Wern and Nicol David, taking 3 of the 4 available semifinal slots. Annie Au, of Hong Kong, is the fourth semifinalist.

Men's and Women's semifinal play begins tomorrow and is set to start at 3pm at the Nicol David International Squash Center in Penang. Admission is free and Astro Arena will be broadcasting live on channel 801.

Men's Quarter final
Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt Elvinn Keo Jinn Chung (MAS) 11-8 11-4 9-11 15-13 (51m)
Siddharth Suchde (IND) bt [3/4] Abdullah Khalid H. Al-Mezayen (KUW) 12-14 11-6 11-8 8-11 11-8 (68m)
Mohd Nafizwan Mohd Adnan (MAS) bt [5/8] Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 11-9 11-5, 3-11, 11-8 (71m)
Farhan Mehboob (PAK) bt [9/16]
Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (IND)  11-8 11-8 11-4 (46m)

Women's Quarter final
Au Wing-Chi Annie (HKG) bt [5/8] Sun Mi Song (KOR) 11-3 11-6 11-8 (30m)
Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS) 11-8 10-12 11-8 11-2 (48m)
Delia Odette Arnold (MAS) bt [5/8] Dipika Pallikal (IND) 9-11 11-7 5-11 11-5 11-9b (75m)
Nicol David (MAS) bt [5/8] Chan Ho-Ling Joey (HKG) 11-6 11-6 11-7 (31m)

1st Round

Malaysia, Kuwait and Korea Impressive in Men's First Round

The 2011 Asian Individual Squash Championships had a booming start at the Nicol David International Squash Center in Penang, Malaysia, this morning. The field of 64 men and 32 women representing 15 nations gave plenty to talk about for the local squash enthusiasts as all three Malaysian men won their first round encounters. 

The Malaysian trio of Choong Kam HingMuhd, Addeen Idrakie b. Bahtiar and Elvinn Keo Jinn Chung, will move onto second round action. Choong and Bahtiar were both convincing in their victories, however, Keo will have to recover quickly after his grueling, highly competitive match with Ammar Abdukareem Al-Tamimi of Kuwait. Al-Tamimi pushed him to the very end before falling 7-11 in the fifth set.  "It was a stressful match for me.  I expected it to be tough... I hope to play my next match better. I gained confidence by winning this one!Ē said a tired Keo post match.  Perhaps a bit more exhausted, Al-Tamimi shared as much saying, "It was a difficult match.  I tried my best to win but Elvinn played very well.  I made many mistakes in the fifth and also the stamina made a difference."

Al-Tamimi's spirited loss was part of an impressive overall showing for Team Kuwait. While 9/16th seed Ali Bader M. Al-Ramezi won in straight games, Kuwaiti teammate Salem Fayes Mohamad also lost in the fifth set of a highly competitive match with Vivian Rhamanan of Singapore. Unfortunate mistakes were the telling difference in the fifth set.  With Al-Ramezi and Abdullah Khalid H. Ah-Mezayen expecting to go far, the two close losses ought to provide needed confidence for the future of men's squash in Kuwait.

Team Korea sends three of its four players through the first round after Seung Joon Lee suffered the sole defeat at the hands of 9/16th seed Leo Au Chun-Ming of Hong Kong. A fast-paced match, Seung went point for point with Au before losing the crucial points at the end of each set.  Otherwise, Team Korea dropped only one game as Se Hyun Lee, Seung Taek Lee and Nyeon Ho Lee move on.  

The men's second round, in addition to the women's first round, is set to start at 4pm today at the Nicol David International Squash Center in Penang.

Men's 1st round 
Nyeon Ho Lee (KOR)  bt Yuta Fukui (JPN)  11-9, 12-10, 12-10
Chen Ching-Han (TPE)  bt Yasir Issadeen (SRI)  11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 14-12  
Elvinn Keo Jinn Chung (MAS)  bt Ammar Abdukareem Al-Tamimi (KUW)  4-11, 11-2, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7
Samuel Kang (SIN)  bt Robert Andrew Garcia (PHI)  11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8
Ahmad Al-Zabidi (JOR) bt Marcus Phua (SIN)  11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7  

Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND)  bt Chen Shu-Kai (TPE)  11-4, 11-3, 11-6
[9/16] Choong Kam Hing (MAS)  bt Richard Espinola (PHI)  11-4, 11-6, 16-14 
Navid Malek Sabet (IRN)  bt Soni Ramdhani (INA)  7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6 
Muhd Addeen Idrakie b. Bahtiar (MAS)  bt David William Pelino (PHI)  11-9, 11-3, 11-3
Wong Hon Fung (HK) bt Chang Chun-Yu (TPE)  11-3, 11-2, 11-4   

SeungTaek Lee (KOR)  bt Ken Okada (JPN)  13-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7  
[9/16] Waqas Mehboob (PAK)  bt Huang Cheng-Yao (TPE)  6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9  
[9/16] Leo Au Chun-Ming (HK)  bt Seung Joon Lee (KOR)  11-8, 11-7, 11-7
Ahmad Al Saraj (JOR)  bt Mohammad Hossein Sanaee (IRN) Walkover
Se Hyun Lee (KOR) bt Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN)  11-4, 11-1, 11-7  

Johny Marthen Londong (INA)  bt Eranga Alwis (SRI)  11-3, 11-5, 11-6
Vivian Rhamanan (SIN)  bt Salem Fayez Mohamad (KUW)  11-13, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9  
[9/16] Ali Bader M. Al-Ramezi (KUW)  bt Shen Jiaqi (CHN) 11-1, 11-6, 11-2
Mohammadreza Sadeghpour (IRN)  bt Lal Wickremasinghe (SRI)  Walkover
Shinnosuke Tsukue (JPN) bt Wang Junjie (CHN)  11-4, 11-5, 11-2