KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor’s Tay Jun Qian (pix) succeeded in redeeming last year’s disappointment by clinching the title at the 2024 National Junior Squash Championships in the men’s Under-19 (U-19) category held at the Jalan Duta Squash Complex here today.

Jun Qian, however, had to sweat it out through a tough 50-minute battle to secure his first title, defeating Kuala Lumpur’s representative, Hasvind Kugan, in five sets 11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 11-6, and 11-6.

Commenting on his victory, Jun Qian said this marks a promising start for him before embarking on his career as an elite player starting next year.

“I’m very satisfied with today’s victory, which marks a good start as the last junior category player. After this, I will focus on playing as a professional player.

“I will concentrate on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour to chase the world’s top 100 rankings, as I am currently ranked far behind at 500th,“ he told reporters after the match.

Meanwhile, in the U-19 women’s category, Melaka’s U. Thanusaa clinched the title after defeating Negeri Sembilan’s Chen Yu Jie in a three-set match 11-7, 11-12, 12-10, lasting 18 minutes.

This marks the second championship title for the 19-year-old player, who previously won the U-17 category title in the 2022 edition.

Thanusaa said that this victory holds significant meaning as this year marks her final year competing in the junior category before transitioning to a senior player next year.

“I’m satisfied because I’ve trained hard, and this is my last junior championship, so I’m happy to clinch the title. This title will motivate me to become a senior player starting next year,“ she said, adding that she will next focus on the Asian Junior Championships and the World Junior Championships.

In the U-17 men’s category, Altamis Aqhar Sallam A Sufian from Sarawak claimed the title after defeating Kedah’s Aqil Mirza Naim 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-2, 11-7.

For the U-17 women’s category, Penang’s Whitney Isabelle Wilson emerged victorious by defeating Kuala Lumpur’s Najwa Zara Mohd Fakhrur 11-7, 11-6, 11-6. - Bernama

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