KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia are banking on a one-month training stint in Bristol, England, to break into the top 10 in the World Team Squash Championships.
The men’s team will begin their campaign on Sunday in Washington, the United States.
National No. 1 Ng Eain Yow, Ivan Yuen and Mohd Syafiq Kamal have been training under coach Hadrian Stiff in Bristol for the last one month and they will be joined by fourth member and reigning Philippines SEA Games champion Addeen Idrakie.
Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) director Mejar (Rtd) S. Maniam hopes the training under the renowned Stiff will benefit the team.
“Our players are expected to improve in every aspect of the game under the guidance of Hadrian, ” said Maniam.
“We’ve a good chance to reach our top 10 target.
A total of 23 teams will feature in the tournament and world No. 10 Malaysia are drawn in Group C with world No. 3 France, the US (No.13) and South Korea (No. 22).
Malaysia, who finished 12th in the last world meet in France two years ago, will open their campaign against lowly ranked South Korea on Sunday.
Malaysia face France on Monday and they will wrap up the fixtures against the US on Tuesday.
There are six groups and group winners will qualify for the quarter-finals while the group runners-up will play in the group stage to decide which two teams will reach the last eight.
He added that France would start as the favourites to top the group.
Defending champions Egypt will start as the overwhelming favourites to win their fifth title as they are led by four players – Ali Farag, Mohamed Elshorbagy, Karim Abdel Gawad and Tarek Momen – who are ranked in the world’s top four.
Group A: Egypt, Switzerland, Canada.
Group B: England, Wales, Colombia, Nigeria
Group C: France, Malaysia, United States, S. Korea
Group D: Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Singapore
Group E: New Zealand, Spain, Argentina, South Africa
Group F: Hong Kong, Australia, Jamaica, Kuwait
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