Sabah squash duo elated over SEA Games gold
Published on: Thursday, December 12, 2019
By: GL Oh
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KOTA KINABALU: Sabah squash duo Lai Wen Li and Yee Xin Ying were over the moon after helping the national women’s squash team to win the SEA Games gold last Monday.

The team successfully defended their title by winning all three matches comfortably against Singapore in the final that was held at Manila Polo Club.

19-year-old Wen Li who played in the second singles put the team in an unassailable lead with a four sets 10-12,11-6,11-3, 11-4 victory over Sherilyn Yan Huixian after Rachel Arnold’s 11-5,11-6,11-3 opening single’s win against Sneha Sivajumar, with Ooi Kah Yan delivering the third point by beating Yukino Tan Shuen Er 11-5,11-7,11-8 in the third singles.

When contacted, Wen Li said she was delighted to win her second SEA Games gold, having won her first two years ago in Kuala Lumpur.

“I felt really good to win this gold medal again. The win was not just for me, but for my teammates and also for Malaysia.

Although we were the top seed but we did not underestimate any of the other teams because Philippines and Singapore were equally good.

“It’s definitely a different feeling for me with this win than two years ago because in Malaysia we had the crowd behind us, which was one of the advantages as compared playing in Manila,” she said.

The much junior Xin Ying, 16, who was called up at the eleventh hour to replace Chan Yiwen following the demise of her father, and featured in the preliminary round was grateful to be in the team and won her first SEA Games gold.

“It was really wonderful to be able to be part of the team and won my first gold medal. It was unexpected for me to be in the team as I got called up to replace one of my seniors, Yiwen  who had to rushed back as her father had passed away…our prayers and thoughts are with her and her family,” said the Bukit Jalil Sports School-based player.

Meanwhile, Datuk Charles O Pang, President of the Sabah Squash Association (SSA), said he was very proud of the achievement by the two players.

“We are overwhelmed and proud of Lai Wen Li and Yee Xin Ying with their contribution in the team gold medal.

“This is indeed a record achievement for Sabah squash and their success will be an encouragement to our state junior players to follow their footsteps.

“We at SSA will work closely with SRAM (National Squash Body), the Youth and Sports Ministry and Sabah Sports Council to ensure such achievements will continue unabated in the future,” he said.


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