The 9th SICC Marigold International Jumbo Squash Tournament came to a close on 7 July 2019 after five days of competition. This year’s edition would be the last one held at the Singapore Island Country Club in a very long time as the club is set for development next year.
Glenn Hitch celebrated a milestone tenth jumbo doubles title at the recent Marigold-SICC International Jumbo Doubles Championships after he and former Singapore international Marcus Phua produced a sensational comeback to deny Singapore’s SEA Games-bound pair of Samuel Kang and Chua Man Chin in the final.
Seeded second in the event, Glenn and Marcus employed a patient game strategy to outlast their younger opponents. The first game was intense and filled with long rallies as expected, given the fact that both pairs were still fresh. It was the top seeds who inched home to take the lead 11-8.
But this took a massive turnaround as Glenn and Marcus was in total control of the second game. While they may not be regular partners, both Glenn and Marcus are very experienced doubles players and this showed very evidently in this game. Slowly, they unsettled the top seeds and came out winners in the second game to draw level for the loss of just a single point.
With their game plan working wonders, they continued to dominate for most of the third game. While Samuel and Man Chin did give better resistance, there wasn’t much else they could do to halt Glenn from his milestone tenth title.
In his victory speech at the awards ceremony later, Glenn thanked his wife, former Singapore national champion Joannah Yue for the recovery massage the night before. Glenn and Marcus had in the previous round taken out Vivian Rhamanan and Benjamin Sim in a tough semi-final.
While there was no silver lining finish for the first time pairing of Samuel and Man Chin, the pair did well to get to the final and more important so, they were the better pair in their semi-final, taking out Philippines’ Robert Garcia and David Pelino, who are perhaps their biggest challenge at the Manila SEA Games.
Despite the defeat in the final, Samuel was positive about their outing:
“I’m really excited for the jumbo doubles and preparation is going well. The SICC event is always something I look forward to and it allowed me and Man Chin to test our new partnership. Unfortunately we came up short in the finals against Marcus and Glenn, two very experienced doubles players.
“We still do not know who I will be partnering for the SEA Games, but whoever that may be, we’ll have to work hard from now till then to see off other strong teams like the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.”
The Singapore women’s team too, took this event as a great opportunity to prepare ahead of the SEA Games. Sherilyn Yang, the jumbo doubles gold medallist in the 2017 SEA Games, paired up with top women’s player Au Yeong Wai Yhann for the event. While the pair crashed out to sixth seeds Pang Ka Hoe and Satyan Desai, they did very well in the plate event. They beat two tough men’s pairs before just losing out in the final.
“I think our weekly sessions have been good in helping us with communication as well as the tactical aspects. But playing events like these provides us a platform to test ourselves. It is also good exposure to different styles of players, so it has been good experience for us. I think our preparation is looking good!,” said Wai Yhann when asked about how her preparation is for the jumbo doubles event at the SEA Games.
In the veteran’s event, title sponsor Patrick Thio and long-time partner Victor Koh came out victorious after seeing off the challenge of Kiwi pair Shane Hagan and Ross Stokes.
In the earlier round, Patrick and Victor got the better of Josephine Choo and Pang Hian Tee, while Shane and Ross stopped the run of surprise semi-finalists Woffles Wu and Shaun See, who topped their group after upsetting former international Zainal Abidin and Chris Pong.
At the awards ceremony, Patrick had hinted that while the Singapore Island Country Club might be closed for redevelopment for the next few years, he will consider hosting it at the Tanglin Club after the latter club had offered. With that in mind, all participants are keeping their fingers crossed that this will materialise next year.
Glenn Hitch/Marcus Phua  bt Samuel Kang/Chua Man Chin : 8-11, 11-1, 11-6
Open Plate Finals:
Alex Wan/Romero Yap bt Sherilyn Yang/Au Yeong Wai Yhann: 7-11, 11-7, 11-7
Patrick Thio/Victor Koh bt Shane Hagan/Ross Stokes: 11-7, 11-8