Hong Kong’s Tong Tsz-Wing and Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng have won the gold medal matches in the 21st Asian Individual Championships in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The Championships featured 24 men and 16 women from six member nations and came two weeks after Malaysia claimed a historic double in the Asian Team Championships.
In the women’s final, World No.54 Tong shocked Malaysia’s No.2 seed Rachel Arnold – who had beaten Tong 3-1 in the Malaysian Open earlier this month – in the final, taking the match 3-0 in 34 minutes.
The first two games were hard-fought clashes, with the 29-year-old claiming the first 11-8 and the second 13-11. This second game proved vital, giving Tong a huge psychological edge as she took the decisive third game 11-5.
Speaking after the match, Tong said: “I am so happy I was able to perform well in the final, delivering what I have learned in training. Before the match, I never thought of the result or how a victory would allow me to become the Asian champion. In fact, I just lost to her two weeks ago and therefore I felt a bit of pressure meeting her again in the final.”
Hong Kong had a chance of claiming an unlikely double, when No.5 seed and World No.49 Tsz Fung Yip went up against Malaysia’s World No.18 and top seed Eain Yow in the men’s final. The 23-year-old, however, was in no mood for a second upset and confidently saw off Yip 3-0 in 40 minutes, courtesy of an 11-6, 13-11 and 11-9 win.
Reacting afterwards, Eain Yow said: “Overall I’m really happy to have brought back the Asian Individual title back to Malaysia after 10 years. It’s a great end to the year to win this title, I look forward to working hard and carrying the momentum into 2022.”
Meanwhile, Asian Squash Federation President David Mui MH JP said: “I would like to congratulate Yow and Wing, who won the Asian Individual Championships. My congratulation would also go to Pakistan Squash Federation, who has hosted an enjoyable and safe event successfully.
“After an almost two-year halt of major championships in the region due to the pandemic, I’m pleased to see both Asian Team and Asian Individual Championships are able to be held successfully before the end of 2021. This once again shows the unity and strength of our Asian Squash community.”