Singapore start with 5-0 wins over Myanmar and Thailand
The gulf in class was apparent.
Singapore stamped their authority on the first day of the inaugural Marigold South-east Asia Cup 2015 at Singapore Island Country Club yesterday when the Republic's squash players dispatched regional rivals Myanmar and Thailand with convincing 5-0 scorelines.
With the matches being played as a team tournament over two men's singles, two women's singles and one men's jumbo doubles matches, the Singapore squad got off to the perfect start they were looking for.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, national coach Ibrahim Gul said: "The day couldn't have gone any better. We knew that we were going to get a good result against either team, so we just wanted to use today's matches as a sort of warm-up before tougher matches in the next two days."
Singapore's top male squash player Vivian Rhamanan led the charge for the hosts against Myanmar, outclassing Oo Naing 11-2, 11-1, 11-0 in the first men's singles match.
Pang Ka Hoe proved too good for Oo Yan Naung, racing to a 11-2, 11-0, 11-0 victory.
It was then the women's turn to strut their stuff.
Nur Adawiyah made light work of Myanmar's Ei Ei Pyone 11-0, 11-2, 11-1 before Jerryca Teo made it 4-0 in a 11-0, 11-4, 11-2 win over Than Than Soe.
Pang then partnered Marcus Phua to complete the rout for Singapore, defeating Yan Naung and Aung Shine Htet 11-2, 11-3 in the men's doubles.
The scores were not so one-sided in the Republic's second match against Thailand, but they were nevertheless too good for their opponents.
Rhamanan delivered the first point by beating Thailand's Chattaporn Juntanayingyong 11-3, 11-3, 11-3.
Chayapong Naviroj put up a sterner resistance against Singapore's Phua in the second singles but succumbed 7-11, 6-11, 4-11 in the end.
The Republic's women continued their good form from the morning tie against Myanmar, with Nur Adawiyah beating Tuddaw Thumronglarb 11-1, 11-1, 11-0.
Joannah Yue then swept past Suvipa Kitvijam with similar ease with a score of 11-2, 11-1, 11-1.
The men's doubles pair of Pang and Benedict Chan then put the icing on the cake when they won in straight games - 11-7, 11-10 - against Chattaporn Juntanayingyong and Natthakit Jivasuwan.
Rhamanan said: "Truth be told, today's matches were incredibly one-sided.
"I think despite the huge scores, we pretty much played with the handbrake on, because we have our eyes firmly on the next matches against Indonesia before the draw for the semi-finals.
"I hope we get a similarly good result against them, and we go into the next round in the best possible form."
Singapore will play Indonesia today as they hope to secure a place in the semi-finals later in the evening.