Low Wee Wern (right) seen here during the World Championship in Penang, will likely face Joey Chan in the Asian Team Championships in Hong Kong when the tournament starts on Wednesday. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: National No. 2 Low Wee Wern believes newly-crowned Hong Kong national champion Joey Chan will be Malaysia’s biggest hurdle at the Asian Team Championships, which start in Hong Kong Wednesday.
World No. 22 Joey defeated world No. 9 Annie Au in straight sets last week for her second successive national title.
And hosts Hong Kong, who are seeded third, will be banking on the 26-year-old Joey to spring a surprise in a bid to regain the title they last won in 2010. They are drawn in Pool B with defending champions India, China, Pakistan and Iran.
Top seeds Malaysia, who last won the crown in 2008, are drawn in Pool A with South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and Singapore. Malaysia, powered by world No. 1 Nicol David, should ease into the semi-finals and a possible meeting with Hong Kong.
Wee Wern, the world No. 7, is aware of the threat posed by Joey and is not taking anything for granted.
“I think with Nicol back in the team and Delia (Arnold) playing very well, the team is stronger. We are in a good position,” said Wee Wern.
“We definitely want to win the title again, but it’s a toss-up between India and Hong Kong in the semi-finals. Both teams have a top-10 player in their squad and are just as strong.
“Joey has been playing amazing squash of late, beating Annie in three sets. She’ll be a danger for me if we face Hong Kong in the last four.
“But I’ve been in good form since resuming training after the British Open and I’m ready for the challenge.”
The Penangite recently took three days off to visit Papua New Guinea as a World Squash Federation (WSF) ambassador.
She said the short break was just what she needed to get her focus back on track.
“It’s been a busy year for me and my results have been up and down, so the PNG trip was a welcomed break,” said Wee Wern.
“It was really a great experience because the kids there were so keen on squash despite the lack of facilities. Some of them even had to borrow racquets. So, it was good for me to see and remind myself how far I’ve reached in this sport.”
The Malaysian men and women’s team left for Hong Kong on Monday.
The women will face South Korea in the opening match on Wednesday while the men, seeded third and drawn in Pool C, will take on Sri Lanka.