BUKIT JALIL: For Chan Yiwen (pic), studies are not an obstacle to attaining success in squash.
Despite sitting for her A-Levels trial examinations, the national junior player has set her sights on winning her first Professional Squash Association (PSA) title next week.
The 18-year-old will finish her exams a day before she competes in the Squash Racquets Association Malaysia (SRAM) PSA 1 Championship at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil from April 4-7.
Yiwen admits it has been challenging trying to strike a balance between studies and sports.
“It’s been very tough the last few weeks. When I’m done with my exams in the morning, I rush straight to training,” said Yiwen.
“And if I can’t make it for two training sessions in a day, I’ll make it up by cramming two sessions together by training for four hours in the afternoon, which is really exhausting.”
“Then I stay up late to study and wake up early the next morning for the exam, its not easy but this is the stage I’ve to go through.”
The SRAM PSA 1 will be Yiwen’s first PSA tournament in eight months since the Melbourne Open in August last year when she crashed out in the second round.
Due to her inactivity on the PSA Tour, her rankings has dropped from 107th to 195th place.
She has been focusing on local junior tournaments and the highlights are finishing with a silver medal at the Malaysian Games (Sukma) in Ipoh last year and a semi-final place at the National Junior Championships last month.
The Kedahan faces fellow Malaysian Kiro Manoharan in the first round next week and if she advances, she is likely to face sixth seed Sachika Balvani of India.
“I’ve a strong chance of making it into the final if I am at my best, I hope to take my chances well,” said Yiwen.
“I made it to the semi-finals at the last Malaysian Tour, so I’m aiming for at least a place in the final and go for the title.
“I’ve been working on my fitness in the last four months and I’ve seen a lot of improvement. Hopefully, I can bring it to the court.”