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Tuesday July 29, 2014 MYT 6:37:00 PM
Tuesday July 29, 2014 MYT 6:48:25 PM
by aftar singh
Malaysia's world No.1 squash player Nicol David in action against Laura Massaro of England in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games women's final on Monday. - GLENN GUAN/ The Star
GLASGOW: Nicol David has broken so many records that some may wonder if there’s any more left for her to decimate – and if there’s still fire in her belly.
Who can blame them, right?
Here is a squash phenomenon who has won almost everything – seven world titles, five British Open crowns, eight-time Asian champion, two-time Asian Games gold medallist, captured 93 professional circuit titles since turning pro in 2000 and, on Monday, became the first woman player to win back-to-back gold medal in the Commonwealth Games.
If anyone ever doubted her hunger for glory, then they only have to look at Monday’s 39-minute demolition of her nemesis, England’s Laura Massaro, in the women’s singles final at the Scotstoun Sports Campus.
The 12-10, 11-2, 11-5 win saw Nicol delivering Malaysia’s 50th gold medal in the Commonwealth Games series.
In the match against Massaro, Nicol was trailing 4-8 in the first set but she showed the heart of a lion to fight back and narrow the score 7-9 and then 9-10.
They say that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. And that was never truer than when she showed the world why she is the best player in the world as she reeled off three points in a row to win the match – and break Massaro’s resolve.
In the second set, Massaro’s unforced errors and Nicol’s sublime play saw the Penangite win 11-2.
The third set was quite close, with Nicol leading 4-3 when the Malaysian accidentally hit Massaro on the nose with her racquet.
After that, Massaro just didn’t know what hit her as Nicol cruised to victory.
Nicol, who turns 31 on Aug 26, said that it felt great to win her second Commonwealth Games gold as all the world’s top players are from the Commonwealth countries, except for the Egyptians.
“The competition in the Games is tough as you have all the top four players featuring here and it is just like playing in the world meet,” she said.
“So, winning the gold at the Commonwealth Games is great.”
And Nicol killed off any lingering doubts about her hunger for success when she said that although she has won so many major titles in the world, “I will continue to do so for as long as I can”.
“There are still so many things I need to achieve in my life … and one of them is to help get squash get into the 2020 Olympic Games.
“I’d love to play in another Commonwealth Games … but that will depend on my body and my game,” said Nicol, who will feature in the women’s doubles event with Low Wee Wern.
According to Nicol’s coach, Liz Irving, there’s one more record that the Malaysian squash queen is eyeing – beat New Zealander Susan Devoy’s 105-month reign as world No. 1.
“Nicol has been the world No. 1 for 99 months and she has another seven months to break Devoy’s record,” said Irving, who has been coaching Nicol for the last 11 years in Amsterdam.
“After breaking that record, I will consider Nicol the greatest woman squash player in the world.”
For someone who seems to be breaking records for fun, that shouldn’t be a problem for Nicol.
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