Hong Kong women no match for powerful Malaysia
Joey Chan bravely takes first set off world No 1 Nicol David, but falters in the end
Hong Kong's women found themselves no match for top seeds Malaysia in the final of the Asian Squash Team Championships yesterday, losing 2-0 to the powerhouses led by world number one Nicol David.
Joey Chan Ho-ling took the first set off the seemingly unbeatable Malaysian but eventually succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at the Squash Centre in Admiralty.
In the opening match, Liu Tsz-ling also found things too hot against Malaysian number two Low Wee Wern and went down 3-0 in straight games.
"We knew well before the match it would be a learning experience against the Malaysians as they were eager to win back the title after losing it over the last two events," said Chan. "They were too strong for us.
"David was in full control of the first two games with her speed and power, forcing me to change my tactics by slowing down the pace in the third and using more of the depth and width of the court. It worked well.
"Overall, it has been a great tournament for us as we reached the final with a squad weakened by the absence of our top player [Annie Au Wing-chi] because of injury. The result boosts not only our team spirit but also our confidence as we build towards the Asian Games."
Soccer fan Chan, who had yet to watch a World Cup game due to her playing commitments, said she was looking forward to catching up on the matches.
"I support England and Portugal and any team that has good-looking players," she joked. "I always enjoy watching soccer, especially a big tournament like the World Cup."
Hong Kong coach Tony Choi Yuk-kwan was delighted with Chan's performances. "Her victory over Dipika Pallikal of India in the pool stage was fantastic and more importantly, she was able to deliver her best, whether winning or losing. This really matters if she wants to become a top player," said Choi.
In the men's final, Pakistan beat Malaysia 2-1 to lift their third title in a row.