PETALING JAYA: With squash taking a step closer towards realising its Olympic dream, the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) have promised to do everything they can to support the bid.
Squash was among the three sports included in a shortlist for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board after a meeting in St Petersburg, Russia, on Wednesday. It will compete against wrestling and softball-baseball. Only one sport will be included in the 2020 Games and the decision will be made in Buenos Aires on Sept 8.
SRAM president Datuk Syed Mustaffa Syed Ali (pic) believes more effort should be made to push for squash’s inclusion.
“Squash has just crossed the first hurdle. The battle is only half won.
“It is going to be tough from now on as wrestling is still the favourite. We need to work a lot harder from now on,” said Syed Mustaffa.
“SRAM will definitely provide more support. We will continue to help out in whatever way we can. Hopefully, this will lead to squash’s inclusion in the Olympics for the first time,” he added.
Women’s national No. 2 Low Wee Wern stressed that getting into the final shortlist may be the start of better things to come for squash, especially in Malaysia.
“It’s really good that we made it to the final round. I hope there will be more local interest in squash now,” said Wee Wern.
“Squash needs more attention and every bit of help it can get.
“I will do my part in helping to create awareness in the sport. Nicol David’s commitment to the cause is on another level. I’m happy to help out whenever I can,” added Wee Wern, the world No. 7.
Men’s national No. 1 Ong Beng Hee, however, cautioned against complacency.
“To be honest, there’s not much to celebrate yet because it’s just the final shortlist. September is the big moment and a lot more work needs to be done,” said the 33-year-old.
“I was hoping wrestling would not make the shortlist. It makes our job a lot tougher now.
“Still, it was a good job to everyone in getting us shortlisted because it wasn’t that easy. If we did not clear this round, that would have been the end for squash,” added Beng Hee.