Aifa pledges to charge ahead after success on British soil

  • Squash
  • Friday, 08 Jan 2016

Aifa Azman (left) with national junior coach Andrew Cross after winning her second British Junior Open title. - SquashSite pix credit

PETALING JAYA: There is no way Aifa Azman is going to rest on her laurels.

The 14-year-old has promised to keep her feet on the ground after winning the Under-15 title at the prestigious British Junior Open squash championships in Sheffield on Wednesday. It was her second British Juniors success, having won the Under-13 title in 2014.

It was a fruitful outing for Aifa as she had also won the Under-17 crown at the Pontefract Junior Open in December.

Aifa, who returned home with the Malaysian contingent on Friday, said she would step up her training to prepare for next year’s British Juniors.

“I will be competing in the Under-17 next season. I need to improve as the standard is definitely higher,” said Aifa.

With two titles, Aifa is now the second most successful Malaysian girl at the British Juniors. Nicol David, the eight-time world champion, clinched five titles between 1996-2000.

But for now, Aifa will let her hair down and spend time with her family.

“I am really happy to be back because I missed all the Malaysian food,” she said.

“I’m eager to celebrate this win with the rest of my family. My mother and grandmother were with me in Sheffield, but there will be a big family reunion in Kuala Lumpur,” said Aifa.

Unlike other students, Aifa will only start her school term next week.

“This is a big year for me. I have my PT3 examinations this year, so I need to balance my studies as well,” said Aifa, a Form Three student at SMK Sultanah Asma in Alor Setar.

“But I will not be neglecting my training. I will also compete in the local circuit to gain more experience,” she added.

Besides Aifa, 10 others – S. Sivasangari, M. Kiroshanna, Wong Heng Wai, Aira Azman, Eugene Heng, Siow Yee Xian, Mohd Hafiz Zhafri, Danial Nurhaqiem, Mohd Amir Amirul and Joachim Chuah – also returned home on Friday.

Four others – Ng Eain Yow, Ong Sai Hung, Andrea Lee and Zoe Foo – are still in England where they will train under renowned coach Malcolm Willstrop. They will return to Malaysia on Jan 23.

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