Rachel go­ing for two gold medals de­spite in­jury

New Straits Times - - Sport -

RACHEL Arnold is con­fi­dent an an­kle sprain will not de­rail her bid to win two gold medals in squash at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games.

The Na­tional Cham­pi­onships run­ner-up is seek­ing to re­tain the Sea Games women’s sin­gles gold medal and team­ing up with Aifa Az­man for the women’s dou­bles ti­tle.

Rachel, 21, said she is look­ing for­ward to get­ting back on court af­ter al­low­ing the an­kle sprain, which hap­pened at the World Dou­bles Cham­pi­onships in Manch­ester last week, to heal.

“I took a lunge and twisted my an­kle. It’s bet­ter now.

“I haven’t started train­ing but have been run­ning. It’s not that se­ri­ous,” said Rachel who played with Ni­col David in the women’s dou­bles and Syafiq Ka­mal in the mixed dou­bles in Manch­ester.

“Prob­a­bly to­mor­row I will be back on court spar­ring af­ter do­ing solo drills yes­ter­day.

“It’s noth­ing se­ri­ous to pre­vent me from play­ing at the Sea Games.”

Given Malaysia’s strength in depth, World No 52 Rachel will not be play­ing in the women’s team event in which she helped the coun­try to a gold medal at the 2015 Sea Games in Sin­ga­pore.

“I don’t mind try­ing the dou­bles,” said Rachel, who won a women’s dou­bles bronze medal with sis­ter Delia at the World Dou­bles Cham­pi­onships last year.

“It was a good ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing dou­bles with Ni­col and a good ef­fort to make the quar­ter-fi­nals.

“I haven’t played dou­bles with Aifa be­fore but I think if we play our own game on each side it should be okay.

“We will work on the part­ner­ship this week. I think we have a good chance of win­ning.”

Rachel’s main ri­val for sin­gles gold will be team­mate S. Si­vasan­gari, who came on top when they last met in Pe­nang at a Malaysian Tour event in Oc­to­ber last year.

“We have not played each other in a while and the last time we met she won,” said Rachel.

“It will be a good match for sure if we both reach the fi­nal.” . Devinder Singh

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