KUALA LUMPUR: Two-time world champion Carol Owens of New Zealand is willing to help prepare the Malaysian women's team for the Asian Squash Championships, which will be held at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil from June 18-26.
The Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) executive director Wong Ah Jit said yesterday that they planned to have Owens here for a two-month stint as coach and sparring partner.
“We hope to get her by the first week of June. Besides the Asian championships, we also want to retain her services to prepare the players for the Malaysian Open women's tournament in July,” he said.
“We will inform the National Sports Council (NSC) of our plans and we are quite confident that they will agreed to our recommendations.”
Owens, who turned professional in 1990, won 20 professional tournaments in her 13-year playing career.
She was ranked number one in the world in March last year and remained at the top until she retired after winning her second world title. She was also the world champion in 2000.
Ah Jit added that they wrote to Owens a few weeks ago seeking her services to train the women's team.
“She replied saying that she was more than happy to come to Malaysia,” he said.
“It would be better for her to come here because sending our players for overseas stints would be more costly. Her fees are also quite reasonable.”
The three women certain to feature in the Asian Championships are world number eight Nicol David, Sharon Wee and Tricia Chua. Three juniors – Lim Yoke Wah, Sally Ooi and Delia Arnold – will be fighting for the fourth place.
Nicol is the reigning champion and she will be gunning for her third individual title. Malaysia also won the women's team title in 2002.