Lessons learned as Hong Kong fall to Pakistan in Asian Squash Championships final
Men’s team lose 2-0 while the Hong Kong women take bronze after reaching the semi-finals
Hong Kong failed to cope with the heat of an outdoor venue as they were beaten 2-0 by Pakistan in the men’s final of the Asian Squash Team Championships in Taipei on Sunday.
Tang Ming-hong and Max Lee Ho-yin lost their matches in the best-of-three final, meaning there was no need for Yip Tsz-fung to play his game.
Lee was beaten 3-2 by Farhan Zaman 9-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9 while Tang lost 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-4) to Farhan Mehboob.
Despite the loss, it was Hong Kong’s equal-best performance in the regional championships after their silver medals at the 1992 and 1996 events.
In the women’s competition, Hong Kong had to settle for a joint bronze medal with Japan after losing to India in the semi-finals.
Coach Tony Choi Yuk-kwan was disappointed overall but said the players will learn from the experience.
“Lee’s defeat was very close after five tough games and I can’t blame the player,” said the coach. “But more importantly, we have learned lessons on how to cope with the heat because the knockout stage was played in an outdoor glass court.
“The ball became very bouncy under such conditions and we found it difficult to play our normal games while players from South Asia are very used to it.
“[Women’s player] Annie Au’s loss in the semi-final was typical for these conditions and she was unable to produce her best shots.”
To add to their woes, Leo Au Chun-ming, recently voted Asian Player of the Year, was unable to play because of a shoulder injury sustained in a bicycle accident just before the tournament.
“We have to monitor his progress closely,” said Choi.