Tears after squash final

Tears after squash final

Hong Kong's Pansy Chan comes away with silver after a stirring comeback in the semi-finals

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Hong Kong's Pansy Chan takes aim during the final.
Hong Kong's Pansy Chan takes aim during the final.
Photo: Xinhua
Pansy Chan Pui-hei was exhausted. After all the heart and soul she had put into improving her game, winning the silver medal was a little hard to take. Tears flowed when she walked off the squash court after Monday's four-game girls' final, but they weren't tears for herself.

"My coach spent a lot of time advising me, and my parents came and watched my semi-final and final. I feel sorry for them that I was too eager to win the medal and made mistakes," said the 17-year-old Form Five student from Sacred Heart Canossian College. "It will have been a valuable rehearsal if one day I get into the final of the Asian Games, or even the Olympic Games, in the years to come."

Vanessa Gnanasigamani of Malaysia beat Pansy, 11-3, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9, in 52 minutes to win the gold medal at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing.

Pansy reached the final after an incredible comeback on Sunday. She saved three match points in the third game and beat her teammate, 16-year-old Choi Uen-shan, 6-11, 9-11, 18-16, 11-2, 11-7. Uen-shan is a Form Five student from Heep Yunn School.

Maybe it was the exhaustion of that semi-final that made the difference on Monday.

Vanessa breezed past Mihiliya Kalahe Arachchige of Sri Lanka, 3-0, in only 28 minutes in the other semi-final. That set up the final between the two top seeds in the age category.

After their semi-final victories, Pansy and Vanessa told Young Post that their dream was to win the gold medal.

In the final, Pansy fought off two match points in the fourth game. But an unfavourable call at 9-10 by the Pakistani referee caused a replay when Pansy thought she had tied the score at 10-10. Vanessa won the replayed point and took the match.

Pansy, who has been playing squash for almost nine years, is leading Hong Kong in the team event. "We will fight for the team gold medal in the coming matches," Pansy said.

Hong Kong also had a semi-finalist in the boys' squash competition. Alvin Yuen Tsun-hei, a full-time junior player at the Hong Kong Sports Institute, fought bravely before losing to Mohammad Syafiq Mohd Kamal of Malaysia, 1-3, on Sunday.

Alvin said his fitness just gave out after he had played a very tough quarter-final earlier in the day, defeating Vijay Meena of India, 3-2. The match lasted nearly one hour.

"I had a clear lead and should have won the first game. Near the end of the match, I was running out of gas. It was a pity that I couldn't go further," said Alvin.

The team event kicked off yesterday for both the girls and boys.

Click to see our complete coverage and medals count for the 2013 Asian Youth Games.

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