KUALA LUMPUR: A 14-medal show at the recent Asian Junior Championships in Macau is a sign that Malaysia are not lacking in squash talent coming through the ranks.
The Malaysian contingent had a very successful outing in Macau where they bagged five golds, three silvers and six bronzes from the eight different age groups.
Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) director Mejar (Rtd) S. Maniam said the result surpassed last year’s takeaway by three gold medals.
Chan Yiwen led the contingent when she won the girls’ Under-19 while the other gold medal winners were Nathan Kueh (boys’ Under-17), Aira Azman (girls’ Under-15), Wong Lee Hong (boys’ Under-13) and Anrie Goh (girls’ Under-13).
“Before this, I said we would have at least a medal in each of the eight categories and from there, three will be gold medals. But we ended with five golds, exceeding our expectations,” said Maniam.
But for Maniam, the biggest takeaway from the outing was that the podium finishers came from different states.
The podium finishers saw talent coming from five different states - Sabah, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan and Kedah.
“For a nation to grow in sports, you must have excellent performances throughout the country and not just from one state or Bukit Jalil Sports School only.”
“So I’m pleased and proud to say that we had this many states who had talent to finish on the podium.
“To see winners coming from across the age groups also augurs well for Malaysian squash as we need a lot of young players.”
Maniam added that the players are ready for the World Junior Championships at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil from July 30-Aug 9.
“The girls showed they are ready to take on the event but the boys are struggling with injuries and illnesses. So hopefully, the boys will be able to overcome that and they too will be ready.”