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Tuesday September 10, 2013 MYT 9:32:00 PM
Tuesday September 10, 2013 MYT 9:54:31 PM
by kng zheng guan AND r. patrick
Misaki Kobayashi (left) takes just 18 minutes to win the match against Kedah’s Nazihah Hanis 11-2, 11-7, 11-3.
KUALA LUMPUR: Japan’s world No. 38 Misaki Kobayashi was on cloud nine on Saturday when Tokyo was announced as the host for the 2020 Olympics.
A day later though that happiness came crashing down as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to reinstate wrestling in the Games.
Squash only managed 22 votes compared to wrestling’s 49 and baseball/softball’s 24.
The 23-year-old Kobayashi, however, did not let the disappointment affect her in the qualifying tournament of the CIMB Malaysian Open at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil on Tuesday.
The Tokyo-born Kobayashi, who trained in Canada for the past eight months under Jonathon Power, Jamie Hickox and Jamie Nicholls, powered her way into the main draw with an 11-2, 11-7, 11-3 win over Kedah’s Nazihah Hanis. It took her only 18 minutes to win the match.
“I was really happy when Tokyo won the race to host the Games. Unfortunately, it was heartbreaking that squash lost out on the bid,” said Kobayashi, who won the Pro Japan Squash tournament last week.
“It would have been nice to have squash at the 2020 Games.
“I’m staying positive and hope squash is included in the future, even if it’s just as a demonstration sport.
“But overall, I’m still really happy that Tokyo won. They will do a great job in seven years’ time.”
For Kobayashi, she feels right at home in Malaysia. She stayed and trained in Penang from 2005 to 2009.
“It’s always nice to play in Malaysia because it feels like a homecoming,” said Kobayashi, who will face England’s Sarah Jane-Perry in the first round of the main draw.
Meanwhile, national No. 3 Delia Arnold progressed to the main draw by beating Hong Kong’s Liu Tsz Ling 11-6, 10-12, 11-5, 11-4.
Two other Malaysians – Zulhijjah Azan and S. Sivasangari – were shown the exit.
Tags / Keywords:
squash, CIMB Malaysian Open, Misaki Kobayashi
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