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Top seeds set quarter-final line-ups in Asian Games in Jakarta

Asian Games Squash - Day One

After two rounds of intense action on the opening day of Squash competition in the Asian Games in Indonesia, it is the top eight seeds who will line up in both the men’s and women’s quarter-finals at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in the capital Jakarta.

All eyes are on Malaysian superstar Nicol David – the only player who has competed in all the previous five Asian Games in which squash has participated. It was as a 15-year-old that the schoolgirl from Penang burst onto the international stage at the 1998 Games in Pattaya, Thailand, where she claimed gold – going on to reach the finals in the next four quadrennial events, winning three further gold medals.

Now 34, and the oldest player in the draw, David is seeded to defend her title – and moved comfortably into the last eight after seeing off China’s Li Dongjin 11-8, 11-5, 11-1.

The former world number one will now face rising star Satomi Watanabe, the 19-year-old from Japan who is the reigning Asian Junior champion. Making her debut in the event, Watanabe defeated Iran’s Fereshteh Eghtedari 11-7, 11-5, 11-2.

Watanabe is joined in the last eight by compatriot Misaki Kobayashi, the 28-year-old eight-time Japanese National champion who surrendered her title to her younger rival last year. Kobayashi’s 11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-13, 11-9 victory over the Republic of Korea’s Yura Choi means that Japan has two quarter-finalists for the first time ever.

A new champion is assured in the men’s event where India’s world No.12 Saurav Ghosal is poised to strike gold after going down in a five-game 2014 final marathon in Incheon, Korea.

The 32-year-old from Kolkata, a semi-finalist in the past three championships, reached the last eight after first beating Sri Lankan Shamil Wakeel 11-2, 11-2, 11-1, then taking out Pakistan’s Tayyab Aslam 11-5, 11-3, 11-13, 11-8 in the second round.

An Indian medal is assured as Ghosal will now face national team-mate Harinder Pal Sandhu, a 29-year-old from Chennai who made the quarter-finals for the first time after beating Robert Garcia, from the Philippines, 11-4, 2-11, 12-10, 15-13.

Men’s Round Two:
[1] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [9/16] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 11-5, 11-3, 11-13, 11-8 (47m)
[5/8] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) bt [9/16] Robert Garcia (PHI) 11-4, 2-11, 12-10, 15-13 (54m)
[5/8] Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt [9/16] Asim Khan (PAK) 11-9, 11-8, 12-10 (42m)
[3/4] Leo Au (HKG) bt Agung Wilant (INA) 11-3, 11-3, 11-4 (19m)
[3/4] Abdulla Al-Tamimi (QAT) bt [9/16] Ryunosuke Tsukue (JPN) 14-12, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 (49m)
[5/8] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [9/16] Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (36m)
[5/8] Ammar Altamimi (KUW) bt [9/16] Alireza Shameli (IRI) 11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8 (42m)
[2] Max Lee (HKG) bt [9/16] Sajad Zareian (IRI) 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (30m)

Women’s Round Two:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [9/16] Li Dongjin (CHN) 11-8, 11-5, 11-1 (22m)
[5/8] Satomi Watanabe (JPN) bt Fereshteh Eghtedari (IRI) 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 (23m)
[5/8] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt Yura Choi (KOR) 11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-13, 11-9 (46m)
[3/4] Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) bt Yeni Siti Rohmah (INA) 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (20m)
[3/4] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt [9/16] Jemyca Aribado (PHI) 11-2, 11-8, 12-10 (25m)
[5/8] Joey Chan (HKG) bt Ahn Eun Tschan (KOR) 11-9, 11-4, 11-5 (26m)
[5/8] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) bt Catur Yuliana (INA) 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (23m)
[2] Annie Au (HKG) bt [9/16] Yvonne Alyssa Dalida (PHI) 11-1, 11-4, 11-4 (19m)

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