Sport

Published: Monday December 30, 2013 MYT 4:33:00 PM
Updated: Monday December 30, 2013 MYT 4:34:31 PM

Aika and Aifa enjoy the sibling revelry

National junior squash player Aika Azman (front) will compete in the under-17 category of the Junior British Open starting on Thursday. - Filepic

National junior squash player Aika Azman (front) will compete in the under-17 category of the Junior British Open starting on Thursday. - Filepic

PETALING JAYA: Siblings Aika and Aifa Azman will have an added incentive to do well in the British Junior Open squash championships, which begin in Sheffield on Thursday.

This is the first time that both sisters are competing in an overseas competition together.

And 16-year-old Aika believes that having some family members around will be a morale booster.

“This is the first time that both us are competing together and it is certainly different,” said Aika.

“For a start, our grandmother is here with us too. My grandma goes wherever Aifa goes and she is our biggest supporter.

“It’s great to have more family members here. It’s good to raise my spirits as I know someone in the stands will be supporting me.

“I have a tough draw, but I’m prepared for the worst. Hopefully, I can make the final,” added Aika who is competing in the Under-17 category.

She is seeded joint ninth-16th and receives a first-round bye before taking on either Hedvika Suchankova of the Czech Republic or local lass Bath Parker in the second round.

Aika, however, is drawn to meet second seed Mayar Hany of Egypt in the third round and needs to be at her best to progress.

As for 12-year-old Aifa, she gave herself a big boost by winning the Under-15 category of the Pontefract Junior Open on Sunday.

“It’s nice to go to the British Juniors with my sister. It’ll be a good experience,” said Aifa.

“I think I have a fair chance in the British Juniors as my draw seems all right and I don’t want to waste the opportunity.

“My goal is to win, but I’m just hoping to play my best,” she said.

Aifa is seeded joint third-fourth in the Under-13 category.

The Asian Junior semi-finalist will take on England’s Darcie Mounter in the first round. Aifa is tipped to meet second seed Nouran Youssef of Egypt in the semi-finals.

Besides Aifa, two other Malaysians competing in the Under-13 event are Jessica Kheng and Amirah Rusyidah.

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