Ex-national squash player Azlan Iskandar has been keeping himself fit and will try to make the Asian Games team one more time by attending the selection trials in Bukit Jalil on May 11 and 12.
KUALA LUMPUR: Former squash player Azlan Iskandar is definitely coming out of retirement to compete in the selection trials for the Incheon Asian Games.
The Sarawakian, who quit after the CIMB Kuala Lumpur Open in February 2012, will fight for the one remaining spot in the men’s team event with four other players. He will attend the trials on May 11-12 with Elvinn Keo, Sanjay Singh Chal, Valentino Bong and Mohd Addeen Idrakie.
Two-time Asian Games gold medallist Ong Beng Hee, Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan and Ivan Yuen have already confirmed their spots in the team event for the Games, to be held from Sept 19-Oct 4.
The 32-year-old Azlan, who won the individual gold in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, said that he doesn’t expect any special treatment in the trials.
“Although I’m the reigning Asian Games champion, I expect the winner at the trials to go to Incheon,” said Azlan, who has a four-month-old daughter Zara Aaliya.
Azlan, who was ranked 10th in the world before he retired, said that he has decided to come out of retirement only for the Asian Games.
“I have some unfinished business in the Asiad. I want to help Malaysia win the team gold after we lost to Pakistan 2-1 in the final four years ago in Guangzhou,” said Azlan, who is also a two-time Asian champion.
“I have been training four times a week with the rest of the boys. It’s good that SRAM (Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia) are holding these trials.
“The players will have to maintain good form in the trials to fight for the one slot left in the team.”
Four gold medals will be up for grabs at the Asian Games – men’s and women’s individual and team.
In 2010, Malaysia won three of the four golds. Nicol David won the women’s individual gold and helped Malaysia win the team event.
In Incheon, Nicol will have no problem winning her third consecutive Asiad gold. Malaysia will also start as favourites in the women’s team.
But it will be tough for the Malaysian men to win either the individual or team gold as players from India and Pakistan have shown vast improvement of late.