KUALA LUMPUR: The second stringers in the national squash squad are good enough to bring back four gold medals at the Philippines SEA Games in Manila this year.
Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia director Mejar (Rtd) S. Maniam said top national players like Ivan Yuen, Ng Eain Yow, Mohd Syafiq Kamal, Low Wee Wern and S. Sivasangari will be left out.
The team will compete in four events at the Games – men’s and women’s singles, mixed doubles and mixed team.
Addeen Idrakie and Ong Sai Hung will vie for the top prize in the men’s singles, while Lai Wen Li and Rachel Arnold will compete for the women’s singles gold.
The mixed doubles will see the pairing of Sai Hung-Wen Li and Darren Rahul Pragasam-Chan Yiwen going for the gold.
Addeen, Sai Hung, Darren, Wen Li and Rachel will team up for the mixed team event.
“In previous SEA Games, we have always fielded our second team and not our top team because we believe they are capable to achieve the goals that we have set,” said Maniam.
When asked if the retirement of seniors Nicol David and Nafiizwan Adnan will affect preparation for the Games, Maniam replied: “It will not affect our performance and preparation for the SEA Games but it will certainly affect competitions like the World and Asian Championships and Asian Games.”
At the KL SEA Games, the team won six gold medals in the men’s singles (Eain Yow), women’s singles (Sivasangari), men’s doubles (Eain Yow, Syafiq), women’s doubles (Rachel Arnold, Andrea Lee), mixed doubles (Sanjay Singh Chal, Sivasangari) and women’s team (Aifa Azman, Andrea Lee, Lai Wen Li, Ooi Kah Yan).