Squash players good for the top 10, says Maniam

KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Nicol David has abdicated. And the others are far behind. Yet, our players can break into the world’s top 10 given time, says Squash Racquets Association Malaysia (SRAM) director Major (Rtd) S. Maniam.

Maniam is pleased with the progress made by both the men and women and feels that it is only a matter of time before they move up the world rankings.

“Of course they can move into the top 10. Low Wee Wern is currently ranked 24th in the world. So she can break into the top 20 sooner than Sivasangari who is at No. 37.

“As for the men, Ng Eain Yow is our highest ranked male player at No. 34. He has also progressed well, ” explained Maniam.

The SRAM director is especially pleased with the development and form of Sivasangari who is currently pursuing her studies and training at Cornell University, New York. The 21-year old will feature for Malaysia in the Asian Team Championships from March 25-29 at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.

“She has been excellent so far. I am very pleased with her progress. She can only get better and better, ” said Maniam.

“I am also happy with Low Wee Wern’s performances. She just beat a top player, Amanda Sobhy, in the second round of the Carol Weymuller Open Squash Championships and I feel that she is more than ready to lead our women’s team in the championships, ” added Maniam.

Although Maniam remains in bullish mood ahead of the Asian championships where he expects the women to challenge for the title, he admitted that Wee Wern and Sivasangari had to overcome various challenges to become world beaters.

“When it comes to Wee Wern, her main challenge is to maintain her fitness when she comes up against younger athletes. She has come back from a long injury layoff and it is not easy to play after such a long time away, let alone win against fitter athletes. But she is doing good so far, so she has to maintain that, ” explained Maniam.

As for Sivasangari, the SRAM director said she has to balance her studies with her commitments on the squash courts.

“She has to choose which Profesional Squash Association (PSA) tournaments to take part in due to her commitments at the university. She also has to play for the university where there are no ranking points, ” he said.

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