Friday, March 22

Nicol, Siva assure gold, silver for Malaysia


Nicol David and S Sivasangari

JAKARTA: The Malaysian contingent is assured of a second gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games after two national squash players Datuk Nicol David and debutant S Sivasangari advanced into today’s final in the individual event.

Defending champion Nicol, who is also the four-time winner defeated world number 19 Dipika Pallikal of India 11-7, 11-9 and 11-6 in first semi-final at Gelora Bung Karno squash arena.

Sivasangsari, on the other hand, continued her giant-killing act by stunning world number 16 Joshna Chinappa also from India, winning 12-10, 11-6, 9-11 and 11-7 in the other semi-final tie.

On Friday, the 19-year-old Kedahan pulled off an upset after scoring a 11-9, 11-13, 11-5, 3-11, 11-5 win over Hong Kong’s Annie Au, the world number 11, in the last eight.

Nicol was happy with the win and praised her Indian opponent for putting up a stiff competition.

“I knew I will play against a tough opponent today and I needed to be on fire, overall I was happy to pull it away and put up a good show,” the Penangite said.

Sivasangari, who will be eager to stun her idol and claim her first Asian Games gold, said that she was delighted with her performance in the quadrennial games.

“I still can’t believe what just happened as it is my first Asian Games and I was speechless after qualifying to the final.

“I have been looking to meet Nicol and it’s a dream come true to play against her, but we will see what will happen tomorrow,” the petite teenager added.

It is the second all-Malaysian affairs in the Asian Games after the 2014 Incheon which saw Nicol beat Low Wee Wern 9–11, 11–6, 11–5, 12–10 in the final. — Bernama

The Malaysian contingent had won the first gold medal in the bowling event (women’s trio) on Aug 22 through Esther Cheah Mei Lan, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman and Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi. — Bernama