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Wednesday September 26, 2012

Royal Lake Club all set to host first professional squash tournament

KUALA LUMPUR: The Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) were formed at the Royal Lake Club on June 25, 1972.

Now, 40 years later, it will become the first club to organise a professional tournament when it hosts the inaugural Royal Lake Club Open Professional Squash Association (PSA) Challenger 10 tournament from Oct 2-7.

The event is a second-tier tournament for players ranked 50 and above in the PSA.

“SRAM were formed at the club 40 years ago and the first members of the Malaysian national team were also members of the club,” said club president Datuk A. Sani Karim, who is also the Asian Squash Federation (ASF) president.

“The first national squash championships was also held at the club in 1973. Today we are proud to host the PSA Challenger 10 tournament to further promote squash and also provide the exposure for up-coming and local players.”

Among the local players who will feature in the US$10,000 tournament are world No. 65 Mohd Asyraf Azan, world No. 66 Kamran Khan, Elvinn Keo (No. 115) and youngster Addeen Idrakie, who will feature in the main draw as a wild card entrant.

Eight youngsters – Sanjay Singh, Gurshan Singh, Mohd Syafiq Kamal, Ng Eain Yow, Andrew Lee, Al Nikc Ali and Kwan brothers Shyan and Shaun – will compete in the qualifying round.

World No. 48 Abdullah Al Muzayen is the top seed while world No. 50 Jan Koukal of Czech Republic is the second seed.

SRAM president Datuk Syed Mustaffa Syed Ali said thanked Royal Lake Club for organising the tournament “as the government has slashed our budget by half a million ringgit this year”.

“It is expensive to send players for competitions overseas ... it’s cheaper to organise tournaments in the country as more local players will be able to play,” said Syed Mustaffa.

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