National player Ryan rises again after double setback

  • Squash
  • Thursday, 07 Nov 2019

Ryan Pasqual (left) vs Ng Eain Yow during National Junior Championships 2015 in National Squash Centre, Bukit Jalil Kuala Lumpur. -Art Chen/The Star

PETALING JAYA: One of the most frustrating things for an athlete is to suffer a long term-injury.

For national squash player Ryan Pasqual, he had to undergo that twice in a year but that has only made him a stronger person.

The 22-year-old suffered a slipped disc in his back in December and was sidelined until March.

Just when he got himself a week of action on the court, the same injury struck again, ruling him out until August.

Instead of giving up, the Penangite bravely fought his way back to full fitness.

“It’s very frustrating because I felt like I wasted six months during which I could have been on the court training and getting experience in tournaments,” said Ryan.

“I saw my teammates getting better every day I was sidelined and as much as I didn’t want to get left behind, I couldn’t do anything.

“But through all that I remained eager to return to the court. My family and my coach were my motivation.

“They told me that I’ve been playing squash since I was a boy and to give all that up because of my injury would be a huge waste.”

He returned to court in September at the Suqian International Classic in China, winning the first round against Zimbabwe’s Faisal Hassan to make it into the quarter-finals.

Since then, he has also been selected for the Philippines SEA Games next month.

“The first win was a relief because after being away for so long, you forget that winning feeling.

“It’s satisfying to be back on court now because after such an injury, you appreciate being able to play the sport more.

Ryan is still trying to find his footing on the court.

After Suqian, he made it into the quarter-finals of the Haining Open in China in September, and the second round of the Queensland Open in Australia last week.

“I think I’ve been playing quite well so far but I’m just not getting the results that I want yet, but I’m on the right track.

“I need to work more on my game mentally and of course physically because I’ve been out for so long.”

Ryan will be back in action today against South Korea’s Woo Chang-wook in the first round of the Cairns Open in Australia.

Despite his problems, he has set himself a high target of getting into the semi-finals.

“It will be tough but I need the challenge to push myself,” he said.

Ryan’s teammates Addeen Idrakie, Darren Rahul Pragasam, Ong Sai Hung, Hafiz Zhafri, Amir Amirul Azhar and independent player Bryan Lim will also carry Malaysia’s challenge at the meet.

In the women’s draw, Ooi Kah Yan and Yee Xin Ying will be the one’s who stand a fighting chance for the title.
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Ryan Pasqual


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