Saturday, 28 June 2014 | MYT 6:48 PM
Vanessa happy to bring Asian Junior title to Penang
Vanessa Raj is the first Malaysian since 2009 to win an Asian Junior Championship Under-19 title. - filepic
PETALING JAYA: Vanessa Raj is on cloud nine after winning the girls’ Under-19 crown at the just-concluded Asian Junior Squash Championships in Iran. Now, she is eager to follow in the footsteps of fellow Penangites Nicol David and Low Wee Wern.
The 18-year-old stunned top seed Ho Tze Lok of Hong Kong 11-2, 11-7, 11-5 in the final on Thursday to end Malaysia’s five-year wait for an Under-19 title. Wee Wern was the last Malaysian to be crowned the Asian Under-19 champion in 2009.
“It was actually a tough match against Tze Lok and I had to hang in there and let her make the mistakes before making my move,” said Vanessa.
“I’m really happy to finish my last Asian Juniors with the Under-19 title. It’s even sweeter considering this is my first Asian junior title.
“It’s extra special for me, a Penangite, to be bringing back the title that we have not won for so long.
“Nicol and Wee Wern have both done it before so it’s a tremendous boost for me to win it this time. It’s definitely the boost I need to step up in my senior career,” added Vanessa.
The world No. 66 Vanessa will have more chances to show her worth as she has been selected to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next month as well as the Asian Games in Incheon in September.
In the Commonwealth Games, Vanessa is set to compete in the mixed doubles and women’s doubles events.
The team heading for Glasgow will be spearheaded by Nicol, Wee Wern, Delia Arnold while the men’s team comprise Ong Beng Hee, Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan, Ivan Yuen and Valentino Bon Jovi Bong.