KUALA LUMPUR: The World Squash Federation (WSF) will make a presentation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in St Petersburg in May to include the sport in the 2020 Olympics.
Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) president Datuk Syed Mustaffa Syed Ali said it will be the third time WSF are lobbying for the inclusion of squash in the Olympics.
“We failed in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. We have learnt our lesson from the past and this time we will make a better presentation to convince them,” said Syed Mustaffa.
All the 144 member countries of the WSF have given their full support.
“We now have more players, more tournaments and more support from all the member countries,” said Syed Mustaffa.
He added they are also happy tennis star Roger Federer has come out in support of their bid.
“This is a good sign and we hope the IOC executive board will give squash the due recognition they deserved,” added Mustaffa after a press conference for the CIMB KL Open squash championships yesterday.
For the eighth consecutive year, Berjaya Times Square will play host to the prestigious CIMB championships since 2006.
The women’s event will be a World Series Gold 60 championship which offers a prize money of US$60,000 while for the men it will be a PSA International 50 championship with a total prize money of US$42,500.
Nicol, gunning for a record ninth title, will face a strong challenge from Raneem El Weleily of Egypt, who upset the Malaysian in the final of the Cleveland Classics in Ohio last month.
Raneem also beat Nicol in the Malaysian Open final last year.
Syed Mustaffa said that this year’s KL Open from March 26 to 31 would be much more competitive as the world’s top 15 women players are in the fray.
The top seed in the men’s competition is world No. 5 Mohamed El Shorbagy of Egypt.
The qualifying and the first round of the tournament will be played at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil and the quarter-finals onwards will be held at Berjaya Times Square in Bukit Bintang.