Young and impressive

THE country’s junior development squash programme has met the expectations of the Squash Racket Association of Malaysia (SRAM) — the governing body of squash in Malaysia.

SRAM were pleased with what the country’s budding juniors produced during the just concluded Malaysian Juniors Open challenge.

Though Malaysia drew a blank in the Under-19 category which was dominated by the experienced Hong Kong and Pakistani players, the Malaysians did creditably well in the other age groups.

The young talents managed to power their way to seven out of the 10 titles at stake when the curtains came down on the five-day Junior Open challenge at the Nicol David International Squash Centre in Penang on Friday.

Kedah and Bukit Jalil Sports School stole the limelight by registering the most titles. They won three each.

Sabah grabbed the seventh title.

National coach Allan Souza was back in his home state of Penang to monitor the performances of the junior players in the tournament.

He said SRAM were satisfied with the latest results.

“I must admit that we have done exceptionally well though we had anticipated earlier that our Malaysian players would grab the lion’s share of the titles at stake,” said Souza.

“I was really impressed with the continued good showing of players like S. Sivasangari and (Ng) Eain Yow.

“Not only did they do well at the recent Milo All Stars but they continued to display their prowess in the juniors’ championship.”

Souza however expressed disappointment that Malaysia drew a blank in both the Boys and Girls’ Under-19 challenge.

Top seeded SRAM’s Addeen Idrake and Penang’s pride Vanessa Raj were shown the exit in the semi-finals and Malaysia’s campaign in this age group came to a premature halt.

“This clearly shows that there is much to be done, especially in this age group,” said Souza.

It looks like the coming Asian Juniors championship in Iran in two weeks’ time could be another favourable outing for the Malaysian Juniors ahead of next year’s British Open.

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