MANILA: Malaysia’s Muhammad Addeen Idrakie Bakhtiar conquered the crowd and his opponent to win the men’s singles title in squash at the 30th SEA Games here yesterday.
Muhammad Addeen, 25, beat Robert Garcia of the Philippines 3-1 in a closely contested match at the Manila Polo Club.
This is Muhammad Addeen’s first triumph in singles at the regional Games after taking the silver in the Singapore Games in 2015.
He started well to clinch the first set 11-7 but easily lost the second at 3-11.
However, the Selangor-born player called on all his experience and tightened his shots to take the next two sets at 11-9, 11-5 to clinch the gold medal.
Muhammad Addeen attributed his victory to the support of his family, coach and supporters.
“I suddenly felt pressured by the big crowd in the second set. After that my coach told me to focus on one point at a time and ignore other things.
“He believed in my experience, and I changed my game play to prevail,” he said.
In the women’s event, Rachel Arnold beat teammate Chan Yiwen 3-0 in an all-Malaysian final.
Rachel, who also won the gold in Singapore in 2015, was given a close fight in the first set but eventually won 11-9, 11-7, 11-3.
She said today’s win would spur her to do well in the team event starting on Dec 7.
“I am happy with my win today. It’s a tough game playing with Chan Yiwen. She was always fighting back in every single game but I’m glad I got through,“ she said. — Bernama