KUALA LUMPUR: Fourteen-year-old U. Thanusaa wants to follow in the footsteps of squash legend Nicol David.
The Melaka lass has been making steady progress since she joined the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) this year.
She trained under national junior coach Lawrence Kwan for the first six months of the year and is now under the guidance of former international Delia Arnold at Bukit Jalil.
Thanusaa played in the CIMB National junior championships in the girls’ Under-17 in Ipoh in July and did well to reach the finals.
She picked up squash at the age of seven because she was fascinated by the way eight-time world champion Nicol beats her opponents in tournaments.
“I used to watch Nicol play in competitions since I was seven and she is my idol. I want to be like her.
“I want to be really good on the court and also in my studies.
“Nicol is the world’s greatest woman player and she was also good in her studies as she scored seven to eight As in her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examintaion, ” said Thanusaa.
Thanusaa added that Nicol has won all the titles in the world, both at junior and senior levels and it is going to be tough for anyone to match her great achievements.
Nicol has won all age-group titles in the British Junior Open and she is twice the world junior champion. Nicol has won a total of 81 Professional Squash Association titles including five British Open titles and she was the No. 1 player in the world for a record 108 months from August 2006.
Thanusaa said she trains hard to improve her game and also fitness to give her best in every tournament she competes.
“I’ve made progress since joining the BJSS this year and I hope to become a professional player after I complete my SPM examination in 2022, ” said Thanussa, who will feature for the third time in the British Junior Open in Birmingham from Jan 2-6.
Thanusaa will be featuring in the girls’ Under-15 category and she is seeded joint fifth to eighth.
“I finished ninth in the Under-15 category in January this year but I have set a top four target in the same category next month, ” said Thanusaa, who finished fifth in the British Junior Open Under-13 in 2018.
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