KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — Men’s doubles duo, Vincent Jones Wee Ming Hock-Amir Amirul Azhar made history when they delivered the first squash gold medal for Kelantan at the 20th Malaysian Games (Sukma) today.
Vincent, 22, and Amir Amirul, 19, achieved the feat after upsetting their national teammates, Ong Sai Hung-Hafiz Zharif Abdul Harif who represented Kedah in 11-9, 5-11, 11-9 at the National Squash Centre here.
Even though the two players were more focused on singles and rarely play doubles in major tournaments, Amir Amirul said the year-long preparation helped them overcome the second choice.
“We didn’t think much, just displayed our best. In the last edition in Perak, we had to go home empty-handed, so we really want to present Kelantan with the first gold this time.
“The success has definitely boosted our confidence for future tournaments,” he told reporters
The bronze medal went to Negri Sembilan’s combination of Darren Rahul Pragasam-Sanjay Jeeva who overcame teammates Ameeshenraj Chandaran-Shamiel Haeyzad Sharulhisam in straight sets, 11-10,11-9 in the third and fourth place tie.
Earlier, sibling pair, Aifa Azman-Aira Azman, both national players, clinched Kedah’s second squash gold after Sai Hung emerged as the men’s singles champion.
The tournament’s second seeds, ensured there were no surprises when they defeated Wen Li Lai-Yee Xin Ying of Sabah 11-10, 11-6 to defend the gold won in Sarawak 2016 for Kedah, while the doubles event not contested in Perak 2018.
For Aifa, 20, who won her third gold in Sukma after winning the team and individual events in Perak and the team in Sarawak, said her dream of winning gold through a partnership with her younger sister has come true.
“We both did our job well despite practising just last week. Before this we always played against each other, so it is a dream come true...and I have no regrets withdrawing from the singles event,” she said.
Aifa, ranked 24th in the world, had a bye in the first round but she had to withdraw from the second round due to a right thumb injury she suffered while competing at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“I had this thumb strain since the Commonwealth Games. Last week, I still feel pain, so I don’t want to risk my future by playing in the singles, now it is better and I don’t use it much by having this protective gear to support.
“I will go for check up with National Sports Institute on Monday, hope all goes well and I will be able to participate in the US Open in early October,” she said.
Top seeds, Noor Ainaa Amani Ampadi-Chan Yiwen of Wilayah Persekutuan, had to settle for bronze after beating Wong Heng Wai-K.Sehveetraa of Kedah 11-3, 11-5. — Bernama