History was made at the CHA Thailand Open on day one as a Hong Kong pair won an elite doubles trophy for the first time.
Kevin Ho Ching Ng and Chung Him Samuel Li battled through the tough field to win the Men’s Doubles in spectacular fashion. Ho Ching Ng’s day got even more special as, in the afternoon, he teamed up with Sin Yee Simmy Chung to also win the Mixed Doubles as well.
There was more success for Hong Kong success as Bridge Yan Kiu Lam teamed up with India’s Sidharth Nandal to win the Men’s B Doubles. Top seeds Frank Kleiber and Peter Sakovics won the +40 Doubles title.
Men’s A Doubles: History for Hong Kong
Hong Kong has been emerging as a racketlon force for the last couple of years and today two of its stars showed just how far it has come.
Chung Him Samuel Li and Kevin Ho Ching Ng began the four-pair knockout competition against No.2 seeds Piers Boden and Patrick Moran. This match was effectively over after just two sports. The Hong Kong pair won 21-9 and 21-2 to race ahead of Boden and Moran. Although the No.2 seeds won the squash 21-16 it was too-little-too-late. Ho Ching Ng and Him Samuel Li were in the final.
In the final, they would take on top seeds Frank Kleiber and Leigh Sands. The duo had battled past Mohammed Tarik Koubaa and Stefan Urban in a first-round match. The result of the match may be forgotten but the badminton set certainly will not. After a ferocious battle, Kleiber and Sands won the badminton 34-32, likely to be the highest-scoring set of the year and we’re only three days in!
In the final, the Hong Kong pair once again made a superb start. They raced through the opening two sports 21-8 and 21-9 to open up a +25 gap. Kleiber and Sands battled back though, a 21-6 squash win leaving the Hong Kong duo needing 12. While the tennis was tight, victory was never in doubt, and Him Samuel Li and Ho Ching Ng won the title.
For Li, this meant a title on his racketlon debut, a superb achievement. For Ng, this was a second Men’s A Doubles triumph in just a handful of months. He also won at the IWT Finnish Open last year with Otto Tennila.
Mixed A Doubles: Ng Triple Crown?
Kevin Ho Ching Ng was not done there though. Teaming up with fellow countrywoman Sin Yee Simmy Chung, the duo raced through to the final after defeating Kedar Nadgonde and Glenda Ong before tennis.
Teammates in the Men’s Doubles, Ng and Chung Him Samuel Li now found themselves on opposite sides of the net. Li had teamed up with Tung Yu Yip and set up an all-Hong Kong final after beating German pair Andreas Baumung and Julia Schirutschke.
The pairs shared the first two sports, with Li and Yip winning the table tennis 21-8 before losing the badminton 21-3. Chung and Ng extended their lead to 13 points after a 21-13 squash victory. With nine points then secured in the tennis, Chung and Ng were crowned Thailand Open Mixed Doubles champion
Ng now heads into the weekend with a realistic chance of completing a Triple Crown. The No.2 seed is in superb form and will fancy his chances in the singles competition, after already winning two gold medals.
Men’s B Doubles: Another Hong Kong Debutant Strikes
There was more success for Hong Kong players in the Men’s B doubles with three out of four finalists coming from the nation. Hei Nam Lee and Yin Kiu Kevin Leung emerged from the bottom half, battling past Hungary’s Zoltan Gal and Peter Sakovics by just two points in the opening round before knocking out the No.2 seeds in the semi-finals.
Bridge Yan Kiu Lam and Sidharth Nandal were the other finalists, their strong tennis finishing off their quarter-final and semi-final matches. They would not need their tennis rackets in the final though. The pair raced off into the Thai sunset, winning the first two sports 21-9 and 21-4 before sealing the trophy with a 16-11 squash win.
Seniors +40 Doubles: Kleiber and Sakovics Triumph in Thailand
There was some joy for European nations and it came in the Seniors +40 Doubles. After defeating Adrian Ng and Supaharn Petchdee in the opening round, top seeds Frank Kleiber and Peter Sakovics were straight into the final.
Joining them was Finland’s Seppo Raiski and Hong Kong’s Bong Tai Shu. The pair defeated No.2 seeds Per Franklin Nielsen and Peter Savige in the semi-finals but could not beat a second-seeded pair.
Kleiber and Sakovics won the table tennis, squash and tennis to clinch the title, their first of 2020.
The full results from day one of the CHA Thailand Open are available here.
Follow the Racketlon Facebook and Instagram across the weekend for all reaction from the singles categories.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Simmy Chung