Pakistan puts an end to India’s title hopes at the World Junior Squash Championship
The first day of the playoff stages began yesterday, with only 16 teams left to battle it out for the last 8 places at the World Junior Squash Championship, at two venues in Chennai, the ISA and the Express Avenue mall.
The morning session that took place in the ISA, saw top seeds like Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Colombia clash against each other. In the first match of the day, Canada, seeded at number two faced off against Australia, whom they defeated with relative ease. A similar scoreline happened in the next match between Malaysia and Ireland, where Malaysia beat Ireland 2-0.
One of the first interesting matches came when Hong Kong squared off against Colombia. Hong Kong were predicted to have an easy victory, having already defeated USA in their group matches. For the first two matches, it seemed like that was going to happen, but in the third match, a spirited Luis Alejandro Mancilla fought hard and brought his team a victory. It was in vain, however, as Colombia lost the following match, losing their spot in the quarter finals.
In the afternoon session, the top seeds and favorites of the World Junior Squash Championship Egypt fought Argentina, whom they defeated with splitting ease to book a spot in the quarter finals, where they will meet Hong Kong. Both England and the Czech Republic proceed by defeating Germany and Switzerland, and the USA too go ahead after defeating a capable New Zealand.
The most interesting and sought after match of the day was undeniably the last match, which was between hosts India and their neighbors Pakistan. The first playoff took place between Rahul Baitha and Harris Qasim in front of a packed crowd at the Express Avenue mall. Things looked to be going India’s way as Baitha won the first match, but Qasim’s composure under pressure enabled him to play a better brand of squash and win the next two matches, putting Pakistan ahead. The same thing happened in the next match-up, when Yash Fadte started strong by winning the first match but gave the lead away to a more experienced Abbas Zeb who took control of the match and took Pakistan to their 12th quarter final in a row.
These are the match ups that are going to take place in the quarter finals of the World Junior Squash Championship after yesterday’s results:
14.30 ISA : Egypt v Hong Kong
14.30 EA : Malaysia v Czech Republic
18.00 EA : England v Pakistan
18.00 ISA : Canada v USA