SEA GAMES 2019: Squash Mixed Team settles for silver
08 December 2019
Singapore’s Au Yeong Wai Yhann, Aaron-Jon Liang and Samuel Kang came away with the silver medal in the squash mixed team event after losing 3-0 to hosts Philippines team at the Manila Polo Club on Friday (6 Dec).
This is the first-ever SEA Games gold medal for the Philippines in squash.
Team Singapore’s Squash mixed team posing with their silver medals after their victory ceremony. (Credit: SNOC)
Jemyca Aribado gave the hosts a strong star by beating Wai Yhann 11-7,11-7,11-8. Singapore sent out their captain, Samuel, for the next match against Robert Andrew Garcia. This was a rematch for the duo who met in the men’s individual event when the Filipino won. Despite a valiant fight, Samuel went down 11-7, 11-7, 11-9.
That gave the Philippines the winning point in this best-of-3 encounter, with Singapore conceding the third rubber for a 3-0 final scoreline.
Samuel Kang in action.
“We’re definitely disappointed. This was one we marked out and definitely wanted to go for gold,” said Samuel, who was Singapore’s flag-bearer at the Games’ ceremony last Saturday (30 Nov).
“We have a very young team and we wanted to do well and came out firing but the Philippines played really well and deserve the gold. We definitely have to reflect on this to see what we could have done better,” he added, noting the team’s two reserve players Sneha Sivakumar and Timothy Leong.
Looking ahead, Samuel said the team has to improve in the remaining events as Singapore are the defending champions in the men’s team event and silver medallists in the women’s team event.
“So hopefully we can at least equal that or do better,” said Samuel.
Commenting on his game against 33-year-old Garcia, Samuel said he believed he had the right plan going into the match.
Samuel Kang expresses his disappointment during the game against Philippines.
“I’ve played with him a number of times but he has definitely stepped up his game and I think playing in front of the home crowd helped him as well,” he said.
“He was pushing really hard. I had a bit of the lead at each game but couldn’t capitalise on it and he was really just going for his shots. He was the better player today.”
This is Samuel’s second 3-0 defeat to Garcia in this tournament.
“He beat me on Tuesday in the individual event, so now it’s two in a row. I definitely need to watch the video and think about what I can do differently,” he added.