PETALING JAYA: National head coach Ajaz Azmat says Malaysia have every chance of reaching the semi-finals of the Men’s World Team Squash Championships for the first time in Washington DC, the United States, from Dec 15-21.
This, he said, based on the quality of the men’s team.
The four-member team are led by world No. 32 Ng Eain Yow, Ivan Yuen (No. 47), Mohd Syafiq Kamal (No. 88) and Addeen Idrakie (No. 98).
Malaysia have never made it to the top four since taking part in the biennial event in 1979.
They have reached the quarter-finals six times in the series.
The target is a top-eight finish but Ajaz is not ruling out the possibility of going one step better.
“A top four is definitely possible depending on the draw and the form of our players. Anything can happen, ” said Ajaz.
“Eain Yow has the quality. Ivan has been consistent in the Asian tournaments and Addeen has been impressive at times.”
In the last outing in 2017 in France, the team represented by former national No. 1 Nafiizwan Adnan, Eain Yow, Syafiq and Addeen surprised the higher seeded team India 2-1 to top the group but they went down to the lower ranked Scottish side in the last 16 of the knockout stages.
Eain Yow admitted that losing Nafiizwan, who recently retired from squash in May, was a big loss but he is ready to carry the responsibility as Malaysia’s No. 1.
“It’s tough without Nafiizwan but Ivan and I have been training really hard and have achieved some good results, so I think we have a good chance, ” said Eain Yow.
“I’m grateful to have been selected and I’m ready to take up the challenge for Malaysia. All the team members are supportive of one another and the morale is high.”
“I was called up two years ago for the world meet and I gained a lot from the experience, ” he said.
The team will attend a 10-day training camp in Bristol, the United Kingdom, before they head to Washington for the competition.
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