Squash: Darren very much the key for World Juniors

PETALING JAYA: Darren Chan has not been as active as his squash peers but national junior coach Andrew Cross believes he remains a vital cog in the team when the World Junior Championships start from Aug 10-21 in Windhoek, Namibia.

Darren, who turns 18 in September, was a key team member alongside Mohd Syafiq Kamal and Ng Eain Yow that won the Asian Youth Games gold medal in Nanjing last year.

But while Syafiq has gone on to become a full-time player, and with 16-year-old Eain Yow still at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), Darren, who is currently pursuing his foundation studies in a college, has not played as many matches this year.

Cross, however, believes that Darren has not lost his edge or sharpness and will still be an important member of the team that are seeking a top-four finish for the first time since 2006.

Then, the team finished a creditable third – their best ever result, although Malaysia’s last participation of the boys in the world juniors came in 2008, when they finished sixth.

“Darren still trains a lot and although he may be a little rusty, he will still be very good,” said Cross.

“He still comes to Bukit Jalil for four to five sessions a week, and apart from that, he does his own training so I believe he is still in very good shape.

“Furthermore, he is still sharp and have had some good results this year. The best was when he beat Valentino (Bon Jovi Bong) during the Malaysian Tour squash circuit (SSJM) in Perlis.

“Plus, as the No. 3 player in the team, he will be very hard to beat and is definitely an asset,” added Cross.

Besides Syafiq, Eain Yow and Darren, the fourth member of the team is Ong Sai Hung.

The individual event starts on Aug 10 before the team event gets under way on Aug 16.

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