The seedings, draws and pools for squash at the 19th Asian Games have been announced.
Squash, which has appeared at every Asian Games since Bangkok 1998, is once again on the calendar in the event’s 19th edition, with the brand-new addition of mixed doubles set to provide even more action for fans to enjoy.
The Hangzhou 2022 squash competitions will take place in the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre between September 26th and October 5th, where spectators will be treated to Men’s and Women’s Singles competitions, the new Mixed Doubles event, as well as both a Women’s and Men’s Team competition.
Speaking ahead of the event, Asian Squash Federation President David Mui said: “What an incredible competition the Hangzhou Asian Games promises to be – especially for the Mixed Doubles, which is included as one of the squash events in the Asian Games for the first time.
“There are plenty of exciting matches to look forward to all the way through the competition and I know that squash fans around the world will be eagerly awaiting the first day of action.
“I wish everyone the best of luck.”
In the Men’s Singles event, 26 players are set to battle it out at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre, where Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng is top seed and India’s Saurav Ghosal, runner up in 2014, is seeded second.
Ng, who has been awarded a bye in round one, could face 9/16 seed Amjad Syed of Qatar in round two, 5/8 seeded Muhammad Asim Khan of Pakistan in the quarter-finals, and 3/4 ranked Abdulla Al-Tamimi of Qatar in the semi-final if the competition were to go to seedings.
In the bottom half of the draw, Ghosal is seeded to play Kuwait’s Ammar Al-Tamimi in the second round, followed by a potential bout against Japanese 5/8 seed Ryunosuke Tsukue in the quarter-finals and Tsz Kwan Lau of Hong Kong, China in the semi-finals.
The Women’s Singles event includes 20 players and sees Japanese player Satomi Watanabe ranked as the No.1 seed. The 24-year-old – who is bidding to become Japan’s first squash player to win an Asian Games gold medal – has been drawn in the same half of the draw as 3/4 seeded Sivasangari Subramaniam of Malaysia, with a potential semi-final bout awaiting should the tournament were to go to seedings.
Elsewhere in the top half of the draw, India’s 5/8 seeds Tanvi Khanna and Joshna Chinappa will be looking to reach the latter stages of the event.
In the bottom half of the draw, No.2 seed Tomato Ho of Hong Kong, China will face Pakistan’s 9/16 seeded Noor Ul Huda in rouond two after both players received byes, before a potential quarter-final bout against 5/8 seeded Akari Midorikawa of Japan.
Ho’s compatriot Chan Sin Yuk, who is 3/4 seeded for the tournament, is another name who will hope to go deep in the event, with the 21-year-old in a round two tie against Macau, China’s Yeung Weng Chi awaiting, followed by a potential last-eight match against Malaysian 5/8 seed Aira Azman.
Elsewhere, the Squash Mixed Doubles event sees 18 pairs of players split into four pools – two groups of four teams and two of five teams – with the top two pairings from each group progressing to the competition’s quarter-finals.
Pool A is topped by No.1 seeds Karthik and Sandhu, with the Indian pairing joined by Japanese duo Sugimoto and Endo, Korean eighth seeds Eum and Yoo, as well as Ali and Zamam from Pakistan.
Pool B is headlined by No.2 seeds Aifa and Syafiq, with the Malaysian duo taking on No.7 seeds Aribado and Garcia, Chinese pairing Li and Zhou, as well as the team of Veera and Mukthar.
In Pool C, Malaysian pairing and No.3 ranked Arnold and Yuen will have to battle past four other pairings to reach the knock-out stages, with No.6 ranked Lee and Wong, Korean pairing Yang and Lee, Thailand’s Ngamprasert and Buranakul, as well as Nepal’s Shrestha and Bhlon standing in their way.
Lastly, Pool D sees five pairings battle it out, with the group including No.4 ranked Indian pairing Singh and Singh, No.5 seeds Tong and Tang, Dalida and Pelino from the Philippines, Pakistan pairing Gul and Zaman, and Thailand’s Prasertratanakul and Arkarahirunya.
In the Women’s Team event, Pool A is headed by No.1 seeds Hong Kong, China, alongside No.4 seeds Japan, Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Mongolia.
Pool B sees No.2 and No.3 seeds Malaysia and India battle it out with Macau, China, as well as Pakistan and Nepal.
Meanwhile, in the Men’s Team event, India have been drawn as the top seeds, competing in Pool A alongside No.4 seeds Pakistan, No.5 ranked Kuwait, Qatar, Singapore and Nepal.
No.2 seeds Malaysia and No.3 ranked Hong Kong, China, will be favourites to progress out of Pool B but will have to overcome the challenges of Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines and Thailand.
Click here for the full player list, draws and schedule for the Asian Games.