Hong Kong cruise into semis of Asian Squash Team Championships, despite absence of No 1 Leo Au

Top player recovering from shoulder injury in road accident, but Max Lee and Yip Tsz-fung sweep aside Singapore in quarter-finals in Taipei

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 May, 2016, 9:26pm
UPDATED : Friday, 13 May, 2016, 9:44pm

No Leo Au Chun-ming, no problem. Hong Kong’s top men’s seed is recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in a road accident, but his absence did not stop the team cruising into the semi-finals of the Asian championships in Taipei.

Max Lee Ho-yin and Yip Tsz-fung easily swept aside their Singapore opponents to win 2-0 on Friday, to set up a clash against Japan who beat South Korea 2-0 in the quarter-finals.

Lee accounted for Samuel Kang 3-1 (11-3, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3) while Yip hardly raised a sweat with a straight-game 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 win over Bryan Koh.

Au, recently named Asia Player of the Year, suffered his injury before heading for Taiwan.

“He fell off his bike after colliding with a vehicle and hurt his shoulder but the injury is not serious,” said coach Tony Choi Yuk-kwan. “We just want to play it safe and his colleagues have performed well, despite his absence.

“He won’t play against Japan as we have the upper hand against the opposition and would only consider fielding Au in the final, depending on his progress.”

In the women’s event, Hong Kong completed the pool stage with a 3-0 win over the hosts to finish top of the group and will meet India in a semi-final on Saturday.

Joey Chan Ho-ling, Liu Tsz-ling and Ho Tze-lok all won their matches without dropping a game against the Taiwanese, but the tie against India will be different.

India were rated one of the two favourites, along with top seeds Hong Kong, but they suffered a surprising 2-1 defeat against Malaysia in pool B to finish second. Malaysia have not sent their top two players – Nicol David and Low Wee Wern – to the championships.