MALAYSIAN squash queen Datuk Nicol David’s most passionate dream of defending her world championship title in her very own hometown will finally come true.
This year, the 29th Penang & CIMB Women’s World Championship will be held at the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition (sPICE) Centre in Bayan Baru from March 15 to 23.
Nusmetro managing director Thomas Chan said a Torch Run & Bike Race will also be held for the first time in conjunction with the championship’s opening ceremony on March 18 at 6.30pm.
“Participants will have the special privilege of running with the torch and passing it on every 200 metres throughout the race, much like in the actual Olympics Torch Relay.
“At the end of the race, the torch will be passed on to none other than Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Nicol herself for a lighting launch which will lead to the opening ceremony,” said Chan.
Chan said 3,000 participants had already registered for the event through running and cycling clubs all over the nation.
“We encourage everyone who love Penang and support Nicol David to join in and create history together for this most prestigious squash event and grand opening ceremony.
“Registration for the race is free and open to all.
“As it is a state government initiative, it will be penned down as a show of patriotic strength for Penangites and Malaysians,” he said.
Chan added that Penang was preparing for up to 4,000 participants in the race.
The event will consist of a 3km run and a 10km bike ride.
“The race route is via Jalan Tengah, Persiaran Mahsuri and Jalan Tun Dr Awang in Bayan Baru.
“Championship organiser Nusmetro will be giving out a limited edition ‘Simply the Best’ T-shirt autographed by Nicol to the first 3,500 who register.
“A further 1,000 who will not be able to receive the T-shirts due to the limited number will be presented with free tournament tickets,” he said.
The championship’s official media is The Star while the sponsors include CIMB and the Penang government.
For more information about the tournament and to register for the ‘Torch Run & Bike’ race, visit www.simplythebest.my.