Chiu on track for repeat of Pusan

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 December, 2006, 12:00am

Rebecca Chiu Wing-yin will face a Goliath of a task to win her second gold medal at successive Asian Games when she comes up against world number one Nicol David of Malaysia in the women's singles final at the Khalifa Stadium today.

Chiu admitted yesterday that her task had got a hundred-fold harder since she beat David in a shock victory at the Pusan Games four years ago to win the gold.

'It will be hard for she has come a long way since then. She is the world champion and world number one after all. Considering that I have never beaten her, other than four years ago when I won gold, it looks almost impossible. But I will try my very best,' said Chiu.

Chiu, ranked 15th in the world, earned her place in the final with a 9-6, 9-1, 9-3 victory over Malaysian number two Sharon Wee. In the other semi-final, David disposed of Hong Kong's Christina Mak Pui-hin, also in straight games, 9-0, 9-1, 9-0. Both Mak and Wee will get bronze medals.

The ease with which David handled Mak only highlights the problems Chiu will face today as she attempts to turn her guaranteed silver into gold.

'I will have to slow the pace of the game down as much as I can. Nicol likes to play at a fast pace, and if this happens, I have no chance. I will try to keep the rallies long and keep her at the back of the court,' Chiu said.

David brushed aside suggestions that today's final would be a grudge match for her. In fact, she revealed that Chiu's victory had served as a timely wake-up call .

'Four years is a long time. A lot has happened in this time to me, and I'm not thinking of tomorrow's final as my chance for revenge. It was four years ago, after that loss I had a huge turning point in my career. It is because of that, that I'm where I am now,' said David.

'Winning gold here will be the perfect way to round off my year, which has been fantastic so far.'

Teammate Wee predicted David would win without any problems. 'Nicol will win easily. After all she is the world champion and is at the top of her game.'

Hong Kong squash coach Tony Choi Yuk-kwan admitted Chiu would be the underdog. 'But anything can happen in sport. Rebecca knows she has nothing to lose and hopefully this will spur her on.'