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Tuesday September 10, 2013 MYT 5:58:00 PM
Wednesday September 11, 2013 MYT 6:08:25 PM
by kng zheng guan AND r. patrick
Cameron Pilley (right) and Ong Beng Hee preparing for the CIMB Malaysian Open. Pilley has a tough first round match against defending champion Tarek Momen.
KUALA LUMPUR: Australian No. 1 squash player Cameron Pilley is one colourful character on and off the court.
In response to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s decision to reinstate wrestling for the 2020 Games instead of voting in squash, the towering Pilley “threatened” to streak at the wrestling event.
“Maybe ... we’ll see,” said the 30-year-old Pilley with a cheeky smile after the launch of the CIMB Malaysian Open at the National Squash Centre, Bukit Jalil, Tuesday.
“Well mainly because it was such a disappointing decision by the IOC.
“I was watching the live stream and the more I watched, the more confident I felt that squash deserved to be in.
“We had such a solid presentation and the decision was really a huge blow especially given the effort the players have put in.”
The IOC voted on Sunday on which of three sports - wrestling, squash or baseball/softball - would be included in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Wrestling won 49 votes, followed by baseball/softball with 24 and squash with a mere 22.
On a more serious note though, Pilley who is ranked No. 14 in the world, is aiming for another fine run after enjoying a recent string of decent results.
Pilley sprang to form at the British Open in May, beating Egypt’s Mohamed El Shorbagy en route to making the quarter-finals.
In fact, he almost stunned world No. 3 James Willstrop of England in the last eight but succumbed after a gruelling 107-minute battle.
Pilley also played top squash at the Men’s World Team Championships, leading Australia to a fourth-place finish in June and he was a semi-finalist at the Colombian Open last month.
“I’m certainly hitting some form at the moment, especially having beaten Shorbagy and Darwish and coming close to beating James,” said Pilley.
“It was also great for Australia to finish fourth at the World Teams. That was an excellent result which we badly needed.
“Now I’m looking at making at least the semi-finals here.
“I know I’ve got a tough first round match against Tarek (Momen) who’s the defending champion but I would love to knock him out, which I know I can,” added Pilley, who was a finalist in the 2006 final.
Meanwhile, Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) deputy president Huang Ying How who launched the Malaysian Open, pledged to make this year’s tournament as exciting as possible following the disappointing IOC decision.
All the players who are in the main draw of the men’s and women’s event attended the launch, including world No. 1 Nicol David.
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squash, Cameron Pilley, CIMB Malaysian Open
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