Fourth World Games gold expected from her in Wroclaw
DEVINDER SINGH firstname.lastname@example.org
NICOL David will lead a stellar Malaysian squash cast to the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland this year as she bids to win a fourth consecutive gold medal. Often billed as the alternative Olympics, the 10th edition of the World Games on July 20-30 features 27 non-Olympic sports which also includes billiards, bowling, karate and rhythmic gymnastics, among other more obscure sports.
Squash will be making its fifth appearance at the World Games with eight-time world champion Nicol looking to add to her previous triumphs in Duisburg (2005), Kaohsiung (2009) and Cali (2013).
World No 7 Nicol will be joined in Wroclaw by Rachel Arnold and the country’s top two men’s players Nafiizwan Adnan and Ivan Yuen. Nicol aside, the other three will be making their Games debut.
Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia director of coaching Mej (rtd) S. Maniam confirmed former World No 1 Nicol has agreed to play at the World Games, which will be held during the midyear break on the PSA Tour.
“We do not yet know if the other top players will be competing as the entries have not been finalised but we will be sending our best,” said Maniam.
S. Sivasangari, ranked second after Nicol in the country among active players, was not considered for Wroclaw as the World Games clash with the World Junior Championships in New Zealand.
For World No 54 Rachel, 2017 is shaping up to be a busy year as the 20-year-old player will lead the national squad to the Asian Individual Championships in Chennai next month in Nicol’s absence and also defend her gold medal at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in August.
“With the senior team being severely depleted, the exposure will serve them well,” said Maniam, referring to Rachel and the juniors being sent to the Asian Championships.
“The sooner we throw them into the deep end, the quicker they will get ready for the big leagues.”
Nicol David will compete in the World Games with Rachel Arnold, Nafiizwan Adnan and Ivan Yuen.