MALACCA: Eleven-year-old Andrik Lim Kai Shan of SJR(C) Jasin Lalang followed a commendable showing on the 2014 national and regional front age-group competitions by capturing the Malacca Schools Boys Under-12 honours apart from picking up a bronze in the same category of the National Schools meet.
Andrik ranked No 2 in the 2014 Asian Squash Federation Boys Under-11 rankings, scored a comprehensive 11-4; 11-4; 11-4 win over Veroon Heng of SJK(C) Pay Fong (1) in the Boys Under-12 final on the home front.
In the Girls Under-12 bracket, favourite Nur Waffiah Khairul Tajuddin of Sekolah Agama JBTT survived a hard fought 48-minute tussle against Infant Jesus Convent’s Ong Jai Wen, before winning 11-8; 11-7; 7-11; 7-11; 11-5 for top honours.
It was plain sailing for St Francis Institution’s Ong Jin Zher and Infant Jesus Convent’s Syarifah Nur Aishah Azrin in the Boys and Girls Under-15 finals respectively. Ong overcame teammate A. Kumunes 11-7; 11-3; 11-3 while Syarifah scored a 11-13; 11-1; 11-5; 11-2 over schoolmate U. Ummageswari.
The Boys Under-18 Final witnessed SJK(C) Yok Bin’s Siow Yee Qian lifting honours with a 14-12; 11-7; 11-6 win over Ammar Naim of Kolej Yayasaan Saat while Nur Thaqifah Laili donning SMK Ayer Keroh colours overcame Infant Jesus Convent’s Pravina Ravindra 11-5; 11-8; 11-6 for the Girls Under-18 crown.
Meanwhile, the Malacca Squash Rackets Association’s (MSRA) nursery and development programme for players between the ages of six and 17 is ongoing.
The development and training modules is held year-round and has four two-hour weekly sessions.
Under the overall supervision of Pakistani professional coaches Ibrahim Gul and Kharamat Ullah, the three local coaches assisting include Kamaruddin Kassim, Roslan Hisham and Aziz Jaffar.
A total of 30 boys and 40 girls come under their guidance.
Since the MSRA’s establishment in the early seventies, they have adopted a “catch ‘em young” policy.
The state was the first in the country to develop this approach in a concerted bid to produce talented young players for possible state and national age group and senior considerations.
According to senior coach Aziz Jaffar, Malacca has already produced many young talents that have gone on to make marked progress in their game.
Several have won national and regional age group titles and rankings in past years with several more waiting in the wings to take their place.