The players did not allow the humid environment in the squash courts to shackle their performances as Egypt grabbed the gold in the men’s category, followed by Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Over in the women’s category, Malaysia secured the gold and bronze medals, with Maldives coming in second.
The fight for the gold was between Sada (Maldives) and Yiew Xin(Malaysia). Both players giving their absolute best, with the intensity running throughout all 3 sets. Yiew Xin, having the clear upper hand, scored 11-0, 11-0 in the first 2 sets. Sada, however, did not allow the setback to dispirit her as she gave her opponent a tough fight before eventually losing the third set 11-7.
In the match for bronze, Chia Hwei (Malaysia) was up against Devanga (Sri Lanka). Chia Hwei took home the bronze after defeating her opponent 11-3, 11-3, 11-1.
Gold: Yiew Xin Tung
Bronze: Chia Hwei
The men’s final was a truly competitive match as the squash court echoed with the cheers from the Lankans for Gayash (Sri Lanka) and the Egyptians for Omar (Egypt). The first set was an extremely close one, with both players running for serves. Omar managed to edge Gayash 12-10 in the first set. He eventually emerged victorious after winning the second and third sets 11-4 and 11-6, providing Egypt with their first ever squash gold medal.
In the adjoining court, Pakistan and India battled for the bronze medal. Zain (Pakistan) managed to race to an early lead in all three sets, winning the bronze medal with a score of 11-2, 11-9 and 11-5. Rahib (India) injured himself in the third set but kept playing, in a commendable display of perseverance.
Gold: Omar El Sandouby
Silver: Gayash Dias
Bronze: Zain Liaquat
By Dona Shehani Amarasinghe
Pictures by Nate Ahmad