IT was plain sailing for the country's top national juniors at the Asian Junior Individual Squash Championships in Kish Island, Iran on Tuesday with top seeds Gurshan Singh and Ng Eain Yow enjoying comfortable opening day wins.
Gurshan overcame Iran's Arvan Etemedi 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 in the boys' Under-17 second round to ease into the quarter-finals while Eain Yow, the Under-13 winner last year, made a seamless transition to the Under-15 category by beating Kuwait's Khaled Al-Jenaide11-7, 11-8, 12-10, also in a second round match.
Joint-third seed Syafiq Kamal joined Gurshan, who is seeded third but elevated to the top bracket following the withdrawal of top seed Tayyab Alam of Pakistan, in the Under-17 last eight after beating Amirhossein Jamalizadeh of Iran 11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7.
Girls' Under-17 second seed Vanessa Raj Gnanasigamani brushed aside Negin Najarian of Iran 11-2, 11-2, 11-5 to reach the quarter-finals where she will meet compatriot Rachael Arnold, who defeated Iran's Sajedeh Karimi 11-4, 11-3, 11-4.
Joint-fifth seed Addeen Idrakie Bakhtiar had a major fright in the boys' Under-19 second round when he had to rally from two games down to subdue India's Vivek Dinodia 9-11, 12-14, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7.
In the boys' Under-13 event, there were mixed fortunes for Malaysia's two joint-third seeds as Jesse Foo reached the quarter-finals with an 11-5, 11-4, 11-9 win over India's Veer Chotrani but Eugene Heng was shown the exit in the second round by Indian Dev Vazirani 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6.
"Eugene was the only person to lose today (Tuesday). He lost in a very scrappy match which both players made a lot of errors but the Indian boy managed to stop making errors at crucial moments.
"Syafiq dropped the third game to a very inspired Iranian but was always in control of the match. Eain Yow and Gurshan won comfortably. Addeen struggled with an opponent who he should have won 3-0.
"Vanessa and Rachael both had easy matches and will be playing each other (in the quarter-finals). The rest of the girls had byes," said national coach Allan Soyza in an e-mail. By Devinder Singh