PETALING JAYA: The Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) will be sending a strong squad for the Asian Individual Junior Championship which will be held from June 25-29 at Amman, Jordan.
A total of 14 juniors will be making the trip as Malaysia will look to equal or better last year’s efforts of three titles they won through Ng Eain Yow (boys’ Under-15), S. Sivasangari (girls’ Under-15) and Nur Aliah Izzati (girls’ Under-13).
The boys will be led by 15-year-old Eain Yow who is the defending Under-15 champion and is fresh from winning the Under-17 title of the Milo All Star Junior Open last month
He will be joined by fellow Bukit Jalil Sports School trainee Mohd Syafiq Kamal who won the Under-17 Penang Junior Open title and Pahang’s Darren Chan as no Malaysian boys were selected for the Under-19 category.
Mohd Farez Izwan, who completed a double – Milo All Star and Penang Under-15 titles – will be the heavy favourite in the Under-15 category.
Kedah’s Ong Sai Hung, who finished second in the Milo All Star and made the semi-finals of the Penang meet, also made the team although the expenses for his trip will be paid by his parents.
Another Kedah lad – Mohd Hafiz Zhafri – will compete in the Under-13 category.
In the girls’ event, top juniors Rachel Arnold and Vanessa Raj will lead the challenge in the Under-19 category while Kedah’s Nazihah Hanis who won the Under-17 title in the Milo All Star will be the sole competitor.
In the Under-15 category, Sivasangari of Kedah will be back to defend her title with KL’s Andrea Lee and BJSS’ Zoe Foo also making the squad.
The surprise exclusion, however, was Penang’s Nur Aliah who failed to make the squad for the Under-13 category following less than satisfactory performances in the recent Milo All Star and Penang meets. Instead, a fifth Kedahan – Aifa Azman – will compete in the Under-13 category this time together with Negri Sembilan’s Ooi Kah Yan.
Meanwhile, SRAM have also sprung a surprising but logical move by including the 14-year-old Sivasangari for the Women’s World Junior Individual and Team Cham-pionship which will be held from July 16-27 at Wroclaw, Poland.
She will join Rachel, Vanessa and Celine Yeap as the team will look to better their effort of sixth place achieved two years ago at Boston, USA.
Rachel, Vanessa and Celine will also make the team for the Asian Youth Games from August 16-24 at Nanjing, China. Eain Yow, Syafiq and Darren complete the boys’ squad.
SRAM secretary and general manager Christopher Brodie said that the selections were based on the budget they had, results of the Milo All Star and Penang Junior Opens, as well as the coaches’ recommendations.