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Monday August 26, 2013 MYT 11:00:00 PM
Monday August 26, 2013 MYT 11:07:02 PM
by kng zheng guan
Nicol with her parents Ann Marie and Desmond David after arriving at the Penang International Airport.
PETALING JAYA: A four-hour delay on her return to Malaysia was probably the last thing world No. 1 Nicol David had in mind.
The seven-time world champion returned home earlier than scheduled from her training base at Amsterdam to compete in the TC National Championships which starts tomorrow. The earlier return will also give her more time to prepare for the CIMB Malaysian Open from Sept 10-15.
Nicol on Sunday evening found herself stuck at the airport when air traffic leaving the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) came to a standstill.
Despite arriving back in Penang four hours behind schedule at 10.30pm, Nicol still had a lot to smile about as she celebrated her 30th birthday Monday.
Nicol, a four-time British Open champion will have even more to smile about if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) award squash a place in the 2020 Olympics come Sept 8.
For now however, the newest member of the 30s club is just happy to be home with family and friends after a long season ... and she is looking forward to spending the day eating scrumptious Penang food.
“That was quite a return! I was supposed to arrive in Penang from KLIA at 6pm but because of the air traffic, I only got back about 10.30,” said Nicol.
“But that apart, it’s really nice to be back spending time with my family and friends because I have been away for a long time.
“As for celebrations, there’s nothing special planned even though it’s a milestone birthday. I have already done my shopping in Amsterdam so I’m probably going to spend my day eating ... Penang food is definitely the best!
“Of course I’m not forgetting training and I’ll have a few sessions with (Low) Wee Wern here in Penang before we head for the Nationals.”
On a more serious note, Nicol pointed out that the best birthday gift she could receive was for squash to finally earn a place in the Olympics.
“There are two more weeks of excitement before the IOC decision and everyone is getting really pumped up for it,” said Nicol.
“It has been a rather good year because everyone in squash has came together and all the players have done their part for the bid. We’re just really excited and we can’t wait for that day to come.
“Everything has already been done in order to get squash in but the World Squash Federation (WSF) will still have a good team in Buenos Aires for the IOC session in order to show that we deserve to be in the Games,” added Nicol.
The IOC will convene on Sept 7 to first decide the venue – between Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo – before deciding on Sept 8, which one of three sports – baseball/softball, wrestling or squash – will get the nod.
Wrestling has been the popular choice for a long time since the IOC surprisingly dropped it back in February before getting back in on the final shortlist in the IOC executive board meeting in May at St Petersburg.
But squash has recently received a massive boost with its Facebook page – Squash 2020 – receiving more than 100,000 followers.
Tags / Keywords:
squash, Nicol David, TC National Championships, CIMB Malaysian Open
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