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Monday December 23, 2013 MYT 8:23:00 PM
Monday December 23, 2013 MYT 10:31:18 PM
by kng zheng guan
National junior squash players boarding the bus to the airport on their way to England for the British Junior Open squash championships beginning Jan 2 on Tuesday. - IBRAHIM MOHTAR/ The Star
PETALING JAYA: Luck is certainly not on Zoe Foo’s side.
Following a redraw for the girls’ Under-17 category of the British Junior Open squash championships, which start in Sheffield from Jan 2-6, Zoe is now tipped to meet Egyptian sensation Habiba Mohamed in the third round.
Fourteen-year-old Habiba, a three-time British Junior Open champion, created history when she won the Malaysian Tour Squash Circuit (SSJM) Finals. She beat national No. 3 Delia Arnold to become the youngest-ever champion on the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) Tour.
“The tournament is certainly getting tougher and tougher. And now I will have to face Habiba in the third round,” said 15-year-old Zoe who will be competing in her fourth British Juniors.
“She’s only one year younger than me but she’s really big and powerful. She can be a little rough too and a shove from her can send me flying.
“But I’ve had a good preparation and I’m aiming to upset the form books.
“Ultimately, my target is to at least get into the top 16 and do better against Habiba,” added the soft-spoken Zoe, who reached the final of the Under-15 category in the Asian Junior Championships in Jordan in June.
Besides Zoe, three other Malaysians – Asian junior champion Andrea Lee, Kedahans Nazihah Hanis and Aika Azman – will also feature in the Under-17 category.
The other girls competing in the championships are Aifa Azman, Jessica Kheng and Amirah Rosli (Under-13); Ooi Kah Yan and S. Sivasangari (Under-15) and Harvard-based Yong Sue Ann in the Under-19 category.
Malaysia will have nine players in the boys’ section. They are Mohd Syafiq Kamal and Darren Chan (Under-19); Ng Eain Yow and Mohd Farez Izwan (Under-15); Daryl Gan and Ong Sai Hung (Under-15); Mohd Hafiz Zhafri, S. Kiven and Mohd Harris Ramlee (Under-13).
The team, led by national junior coaches Andrew Cross and Shahril Shahidan, left for England on Tuesday. The players will compete in the Pontefract Junior Open, which starts on Dec 27, before proceeding to Sheffield.
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