Asian Junior Squash: Jordan & Japan make history
Japan and hosts Jordon achieved historic breakthrough successes in the 24th Asian Junior Individual Squash Championships in the Jordanian capital Amman.
After finishing as runner-up in 2016, home town boy Mohammad Al Sarraj (pictured above) clinched the 2017 men’s U19 title after beating surprise Pakistan opponent Mansoor Zaman (Jnr) in the final at the Al Hassan International Squash Centre – thus becoming the first Jordanian winner of the trophy in the event’s 34-year history.
Zaman, a 5/8 seed, made his breakthrough in the quarter-finals, seeing off second-seeded Indian Abhay Singh in five games. And the 17-year-old from Karachi took Al Sarraj the full distance before the top seed, aged 18, closed out the match 5-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-3, 11-2 after 45 minutes – much to the delight of the partisan crowd.
After surviving a five-game semi, top seed Satomi Watanabe became the first ever Japanese Asian Junior champion after beating Hong Kong’s No.2 seed Ho Ka Wing 13-11, 11-6, 11-9 in the women’s U19 final (both pictured below).
Malaysia won all but one of the six other titles at U17, U15 and U13.
Macau China also made history by claiming their first medal in the championships when Yeung Weng Chi finished co-third with Navmi Sharma of India in the Girls’ Under-17 event.
“I would like to congratulate Jordan and Japan, who won the Asian Junior Individual Championship Boys Under 19 and Girls Under 19 titles respectively,” said Asian Squash Federation President David Mui. “My congratulations would also like to extend to Macau who also won its first-ever Asian Junior Individual Championships medal after its player Yeung Weng Chi won a bronze medal.
“I’m glad to see that more different member nations have attained good results in the tournament. This is really encouraging and rewarding as junior development has always been our top priority in the region.”
The five-day championships attracted the top junior squash players from 13 Asian countries to compete in the eight categories.