LEAD CHARGE

Fourth World Games gold ex­pected from her in Wro­claw

New Straits Times - - Sport -

DEVINDER SINGH devinder@nst.com.my

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.

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