PETALING JAYA: Aifa Azman has set herself two lofty targets at the World Junior Squash Championships which begin in Tauranga, New Zealand, today.
In a bid to do well in the Under-19 championships, the 15-year-old two-time British Junior Open champion moved from her home state – Kedah – to Kuala Lumpur in April.
“The move (to KL) has helped me to improve my game as I get a lot of sparring sessions with the other top juniors and seniors. The facilities, including medical, are also better. I was able to recover quickly when I injured my ankle in May,” said Aifa.
“I’m well prepared now and hope to improve from my individual second-round exit last year. This time my aim is to reach the quarter-finals. It’s tough but I think I can achieve it. For the team event, I hope to help Malaysia make the final.”
In the individual event, Aifa is seeded joint 13th-16th. She has a first-round bye and is tipped to meet Canada’s Emma Jinks in the second round.
Aifa is expected to reach the fourth round where she is drawn to face Egypt’s second seed Zeina Mickawy.
Aifa is the only new player for the team event. The others are S. Sivasangari, Andrea Lee and Zoe Foo.
The trio steered Malaysia to a third-place finish when the team event was last staged in 2015.