KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Squash legend Datuk Nicol Ann David hopes national women’s player S. Sivasangari can end Malaysia’s eight-year drought at the Asian Individual Squash Championships in Hong Kong.
The eight-time world women’s champion said the national squad sent to the five-day tournament from June 6 onwards comprised players who have the potential to end the country’s eight-year wait.
“We hope the players can play well, the team (national squad) are a strong team, they play very well, so far their performance is fine, they are also giving good (results) and live up to their ranking.
“(After this) they need to go for a lot of competitions so that they don’t go lower than their seeding, that is overall what they need,” she said after a Nicol David’s programme at the AIA Squash Clinic.
Yesterday, Sivasangari advanced to the semi-finals of the Asian Individual Squash Championships after edging out compatriot Aifa Azman 12 – 10, 12 – 14, 12 – 10, 11 – 7.
Sivasangari, 24, is scheduled to meet the tournament’s top seed Satomi Watanabe of Japan this afternoon to book a slot in the final.
The last time a national female player won the championship twice in a year was in 2015 through Nicol, who went on to hold the title nine times in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2015.
Meanwhile, in the men’s category, the country’s leading player Ng Eain Yow also has the chance to defend his title after defeating compatriot Muhammad Addeen Idrakie Bahtiar 11 – 3, 11 – 4, 11 – 4 in the quarter-finals yesterday.
Ng has better odds against host player Henry Leung (who lost to Ng last year) to book a slot in the final round.
Earlier, Nicol together with AIA Malaysia held a friendly dialogue with the media in the Nicol David programme at the AIA Squash Clinic.
Today, she continues her collaboration as an AIA Malaysia ambassador for a year to promote squash to the public in Malaysia.