Australia’s Kelsey Cottrell and Julie Keegan have ridden a 14-game winning streak to capture tonight’s (29/11) Hong Kong Classic against Malaysia’s Nor Hashima Ismail and Siti Zalina Ahmad.
Despite facing off against two of the game’s most lethal exponents, the Australians rose to the occasion as they claimed the final 22-12 to put the finishing touches on a breathtaking week.
With the greens picking up speed over the course of the tournament, the Australians swept their way in to tonight’s championship decider with back-to-back victories over Hong Kong internationals Grace Chu and Sonia Chan (21-9) and Scotland’s Lyn Stein and Margaret Letham (20-12).
Facing off against the Malaysian superstars, however, was never going to be easy, with Ismail having outpointed the Australians in the recent Asia Pacific Championships, while Ahmad has won the past two Commonwealth Games gold medals and is a former Australian Open champion.
“It would have been really disappointing to have come through the tournament undefeated and lost the final,” a relieved Keegan said.
“We just got better and better as the tournament went on.
“I guess it’s nice to get one back on the Malaysians who have beaten us on a couple of times of late.
“It’s really satisfying.”
Jumping out of the blocks, Cottrell, the world number three, laid the perfect platform for her Australian teammate, with Keegan executing beautifully.
The pair raced to a 12-2 lead, and with the title in their grasp, they held their nerve to clinch the crown.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS