Sport

Published: Thursday December 26, 2013 MYT 5:52:00 PM
Updated: Thursday December 26, 2013 MYT 5:54:14 PM

Kah Yan: I wanna be like Nicol

Asian Junior champ Ooi Kah Yan will be making her British Junior Open squash championships debut in the Under-15 category, beginning Jan 2. - Filepic

Asian Junior champ Ooi Kah Yan will be making her British Junior Open squash championships debut in the Under-15 category, beginning Jan 2. - Filepic

PETALING JAYA: Pint-sized Ooi Kah Yan grew up idolising world No. 1 squash player Nicol David.

Now the talented 13-year-old aims to follow in the footsteps of Nicol when she makes her British Junior Open squash championship debut in the girls’ Under-15 category, from Jan 2-6 at Sheffield. Seven-time world champion Nicol won five titles in the British Junior Open from 1996-2000.

“When I was younger, my parents wanted me to to pick up a sport,” said the soft-spoken Form One student from SMK Methodist ACS in Seremban.

“I chose squash because I thought it was fun. It was also because I used to watch Nicol on television and I admire her a lot. She’s definitely my idol and I want to become like her one day. The first step is to do well in the British Juniors.

“It’ll be the first time I compete in the British Juniors and I’ve been really looking forward to it. My goal is to make the top four at least. I am well prepared for it especially since the junior camp last month in which I went over to Bukit Jalil to train with the other players.

“I still need to improve the physical and mental aspects of my game but I’m definitely ready for this challenge. It’s only the cold that I’m afraid of, and that’s why I brought extra winter clothing with me,” added Kah Yan.

Kah Yan who broke into the scene by winning the Asian Junior Under-13 title in Amman, Jordan, and also the National Championships Division Two title certainly has a decent chance of progressing.

She is seeded joint ninth-16th and receives a first round bye before facing either local lass Rawan El Kalaawy or Norway’s Lotte Flesjo in the second round.

A win will pit her against joint fifth-eighth seed Satomi Watanabe of Japan, who is based in Penang, in the third round.

Besides Kah Yan, the other Malaysian in the Under-15 category will be this year’s runner-up S. Sivasangari.

The Kedahan is the top seed and is the best bet for the title. She will also receive a first round bye before facing either England’s Ellen Cooper or Ireland’s Ellie McVeight in the second round.

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