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Tuesday December 24, 2013 MYT 6:08:00 PM
Tuesday December 24, 2013 MYT 6:29:34 PM
by kng zheng guan
S. Sivasangari (right) and Ng Eain Yow of Malaysia have been seeded first and second respectively in the girls U-15 and boys U-17 category of the British Junior Open squash championships in Sheffield beginning Jan 2. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Nicol David has offered some timely advice to the national juniors competing in the British Junior Open at Sheffield from Jan 2-6.
Seven-time world champion Nicol, a five-time winner (the most number of titles for any Malaysian) in the British Junior Open from 1996-2000, has urged the juniors to make use of the opportunity of competing at the biggest stage with aplomb.
“Some of them will be competing in the British Juniors for the first time and naturally they will be nervous,” said Nicol who had spent some time at the courts in Bukit Jalil during the junior training camp last month.
“It is okay to be nervous actually, as long as they know how to use it to their advantage and enjoy themselves once they go on court.
“Most importantly, even though it’s just the junior level, they need to learn how to take it one match at a time.
“I spent some time with them before the Hong Kong Open and it was nice chatting with them as they were all so keen and so willing to learn.
“I gave them an idea on what it takes to be a professional squash player and it’s good to see that they are willing to step out of their own comfort zone.
“I sure hope that I managed to inspire some of them and I definitely hope that they give their best at the British Juniors because overall, they are a pretty good bunch,” added Nicol.
Malaysia’s best bet of winning in the British Juniors falls on the shoulders of reigning Boy’s Under-15 champion Ng Eain Yow, who has moved up to the Under-17 category and is seeded second.
Eain Yow’s main challengers will a pair of Egyptians – Youssef Soliman and Karim Ibrahim, while team-mate Mohd Farez Izwan who is seeded third-fourth will also be a strong contender.
The girls’ challenge will be shouldered by 14-year-old S. Sivasangari, who is the top seed in the Under-15 category.
Meanwhile, Nicol who is currently back in Penang after ending the year on a high by winning the Hong Kong Open early this month, will feature in the Tournament of Champions in New York from Jan 16-24.
She will face a qualifier in the first round and a win should pit her against fellow Penangite and national No. 2 Low Wee Wern in the quarter-finals.
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