Yiwen ready to make up for the absence of Nicol


File photo of Chan Yiwen in action in a match against her senior Nicol David (front) at a local tournament in 2017.

File photo of Chan Yiwen in action in a match against her senior Nicol David (front) at a local tournament in 2017.

KUALA LUMPUR:  Nicol David is set to leave the squash scene, but fret not, for youngster Chan Yiwen is ready to step in. 

The 18-year-old aims to go full swing in squash after completing her final A-Levels at Taylor’s College in Sunway tomorrow. 

She will go all out to accomplish two tasks this year – retain the girls’ title in the Asian Junior Championships in Macau from June 26-30 and do well in the World Junior Championships at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil from July 30-Aug 9. 

Then, she will focus on her senior career to make up for the absence of Nicol. 

The 36-year-old Nicol will retire after her last stint in the ongoing British Open in Hull, England. On Monday, Nicol advanced to the second round after defeating Ho Tze-Lok of Hong Kong 11-7, 11-5, 13-11 at the Hull University Hall.

When Nicol's campaign ends at the British Open, world No. 28 Wee Wern, who will turn 29 in July, will take over as the national No. 1. 

The other national players in the women’s team are world No. 47 Rachel Arnold, S. Sivasangari (50), Ooi Kah Yan (91st), Wen Li Lai (94th) and Aifa Azman (155th).

Yiwen said she would like to add depth to the national women’s team.

“The Malaysian squash fraternity will definitely miss Nicol. Former national champion Wee Wern may also retire in a few years’ time,” said the world No. 139 Yiwen.

“With only a few women left in the national team, I’ve decided to concentrate more on the game after my studies.”

Yiwen, who won the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) PSA No.1 tournament in Bukit Jalil last month, said her mission is also to improve her world ranking.

“I was ranked 213 in the world in March but after winning the SRAM PSA No.1 title, I’ve moved up 74 rungs,” said Yiwen, who will be competing in the Golden Hope meet in Kalgoorlie, Australia, from May 31-June 3.

“I hope to win this next tournament too to improve my world ranking and break into the top 80 by end of this year.”