Parents’ decision to send Zoe to Scotland pays off handsomely

KUALA LUMPUR: Newcomer Zoe Foo’s parents had to fork out their own money to send her for the Scottish Junior Open squash championships in Edinburgh. And it paid off handsomely when she bagged the girls’ Under-13 title in superb style on Thursday.

The 11-year-old Zoe notched up impressive wins in the four round-robin matches for a golden debut.

The fourth-seeded Zoe, a product of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) junior development programme, whitewashed top seed Radwa Adel of Egypt 11-0, 11-0, 11-0 in her first match. She then beat Julie Rossignal of France 11-2, 11-3, 11-5 before blanking Dina Farid of Egypt 11-0, 11-0, 11-0.

Zoe then sealed her first Scottish Junior Open title by hammering Carrie Hallam of Scotland 11-1, 11-1, 11-0 in the fourth and final match.

Zoe’s brother, Clifford, however, did not have such a memorable debut in the boys’ Under-13 division. He finished fifth after defeating Essa Mohammed of Kuwait 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-4.

The Foo siblings were the only Malay­sians to feature in the Scottish Junior Open.

Squash Racquets Association of Malay­sia (SRAM) general manager Christopher Bor­die said they were delighted with Zoe’s excellent performance in Edinburgh.

“The win will definitely inspire her to give her best in the prestigious British Junior Open, which begins today in Sheffield,” he said.

“She is seeded second in the meet and I hope she will live up to her billing.”

Zoe and Clifford will again be sponsored by their parents for the British Junior Open.

Zoe, who will make her debut in the British Junior Open, will face Megan Kaye of England in the first round.

She is likely to meet joint ninth-16th seed Laura Gamblin of France in the quarter-finals. If she gets into the semi-finals, she is likely to play joint third-fourth seed Mayer Hany of Egypt.

The top seed is Nouran Johar of Egypt.

Clifford, who is seeded joint third-fourth in the boys’ Under-13 category, received a bye in the first round.

Besides the Foo siblings, nine more players will also feature in the British Junior Open.

The boys are Nicholas Tan (Under-13), Vincent Tan (Under-15), Mohd Addeen Bahtiar and Affeeq Abedeen (both Under-17) while the girls are Low Wee Nee (Under-19), Tan Yan Xin (Under-17), Yong Sue Ann, Celina Yap and G. Venessa Raj (Under-15).

The Tan brothers – Vincent and Nicholas – will also be sponsored by their parents for the British Junior Open.

Last year, Low Wee Wern won the girls’ Under-19 title.

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