KUALA LUMPUR: National No. 3 squash player S. Sivasangari can afford to smile now as she will no longer be the lone Malaysian in the United States trying to strike a balance between sport and studies.
Sivasangari will be joined by 19-year-old Lai Wen Li at the Cornell University College in the United States in September.
The 19-year-old Sabahan will leave for the US to pursue a four-year degree course as soon as she completes her Canadian Matriculation Programme at the Sunway College in June.
The world No. 75 Wen Li said it was a dream come true to study as well play squash together with Sivasangari in the US.
“I must thank the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) for helping me secure a place in one of the leading universities in the US, ” said Wen Li, who has yet to decide what course she would be taking.
“I’m happy and excited to train together with my senior teammate Sivasangari, who has been studying there since last year.
“I’ll get a chance to play at the university level and also in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) tournaments in the United States.
“By playing in PSA tournaments, it will help me to maintain my world rankings, ” said Wen Li, who turned professional in 2016.
Last year, Wen Li won the New Zealand International Classic in Palmerston North and finished as the runners-up in two PSA tournaments – the South Australian Open and Indian Tour in Chennai.
Currently based in Kota Kinabalu due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Wen Li said she is doing her matriculation studies via online.
“I’ll complete my matriculation by June and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the virus situation in the United States will improve in the next few months so that I can leave in September, ” said Wen Li.