Ng Eain Yow receiving a bouquet of flowers from CIMB Group head of corporate responsibilities Iqbal Abdul Rahim upon his arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Looking on is Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) president Datuk Syed Mustaffa Syed Ali.
SEPANG: Instead of feeling down in the dumps after losing in the final of the British Junior Open squash championship, top junior Ng Eain Yow is all fired-up to take his career to the next level.
The 15-year-old Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) student went down fighting in four sets to top seed Youssef Soliman of Egypt in the Boys’ Under-17 category on Monday.
Eain Yow has set his mind on winning the title next year and also make a breakthrough in the few Professional Squash Association (PSA) tournaments that he will be competing in this year.
“I could have won the title because it was so close,” said Eain Yow, after arriving at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) with the rest of the team on Wednesday.
“I guess in the end I was just too nervous and a little scared of my opponent because he is bigger and stronger and has more experience.
“But losing is not the end of the day because I still have another shot at the Under-17 title next year.
“Youssef will have moved up to the Under-19 category because he is one year older and I believe that will be my chance.
“Besides that, I am also looking forward to the few local PSA tournaments such as the NSC Series. That will be good exposure for me.”
Eain Yow, however, stressed that his main goal for the year is to be physically stronger in order to compete with the bigger and taller Egyptians and European players.
“When you are in the younger age group, being smaller in size is still all right because you can get around easier,” explained Eain Yow.
“But now in the older age groups, the bigger players have a better presence on court and sometimes it is just hard to play shots that they can’t reach.
“During the semi-finals, I played Patrick Rooney, whom I beat two years ago rather easily. This time he has grown so much and it was tough getting him off the ball.
“Thus, my main goal this year is definitely to build up physically in order to give myself a more level playing field when taking on the Egyptians and European players.
“Shots-wise, I feel I’m on par with the Egyptians ... now I have to learn to last the distance,” added Eain Yow.
Meanwhile, the juniors – 18 of them, with the exception of Mohd Syafiq Kamal, who has stayed back to train under Malcolm Willstrop, were given a warm reception by a group of BJSS students, Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) officials and the CIMB Foundation, the main sponsors of the junior squash development programme.