KUALA LUMPUR: Junior squash player Duncan Lee (pic), who turned professional in January, has set himself a long-term target – he wants to be the first Sabahan to become a national champion in six years’ time.
The 18-year-old from Kota Kinabalu is the eldest among three siblings. His 13-year-old sister Doris is also a squash player while his brother Dougles, 16, is into bodybuilding.
Duncan, who scored average grades in his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results last month, has decided to take a two-year break from studies to focus on squash. He featured in the first Professional Squash Association (PSA) tournament in the Indian Tour in Jaipur in January but lost in the straight sets to Yash Fadte of India in the first round.
Duncan, who took up squash at age of seven, said he was willing to sacrifice his studies for squash.
“I believe I can become a good squash player and I will do whatever it takes to be one. I have done well in junior competitions and want to make an impact in the PSA tournaments.
“I love squash and I have set a personal target of becoming a national champion in six years time. I also want to break into top 20 in the world rankings by 2026.
“I want to be the first from the east Malaysia to be national squash champion, ” said Duncan, who is coached by Andrew Cross in Bukit Jalil.
Duncan is in high spirits after having won the National Junior Championships boys’ Under-19 title in Bukit Jalil in early February.
A week later, he won the individual as well as the mixed team title in the SEA Cup in Bangkok.
He was looking forward to featuring in the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) PSA tournament from April 20-23 when the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
Duncan said he has been in Kota Kinabalu since late February and was still training at home, according to instructions from Cross.
“Besides training, I also help my dad in his business supplying seafood to customers. We have a factory in Kota Kinabalu, which was set up by my dad 20 years ago.
“Due to the movement control order (MCO), I help my dad by taking online orders.
“I am not sure when I will return to Bukit Jalil to continue my training as I have three junior tournaments to focus on next year – the British Junior Open, Asian Junior Open and the World Junior Open.
“Next year, I will be playing for the last time in the junior meets and I want to do well in three competitions, ” said Duncan, who finished as runner-up in the Under-15 category in the British Junior Open in Birminghman in 2017.
He finished third in the Under-17 category of the Asian Junior Championships in Macau last year.