Yiwen goes from bronze medal winner to rank underdog

Malaysian Chan Yiwen diving to returning the ball. - filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Youngster Chan Yiwen took part in the Asian Team Squash Championships in Cheongju, South Korea, two years ago and came home with a bronze medal.

This year, she may not even make the cut to the team.

Two years ago, all the national players were busy preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, and Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) sent a young team comprising Yiwen, Ooi Kah Yan, Lai Wen Li and Mah Si Yi to Cheongju.

Now, the 19-year-old Yiwen, ranked 88th in the world, is up against the likes of Rachel Arnold, S. Sivasangari and Aifa Azman, besides her junior teammates, for three places in the four-member team to the Asian meet. National No. 1 Low Wee Wern is assured of a spot.

With Malaysia being the hosts, SRAM are certain to choose only the best players as they want to win both the men’s and women’s team titles.

“My chances of making the Asian team are really tough but I am still my keeping my fingers crossed for any possibility, ” said Yiwen.

“I started sparring on the courts last week and I need to train as much as I can for the National Championships in October.

“Last year, I reached the semi-finals before losing to Wee Wern but this time I hope to defy the odds and reach the final.

“Who knows, by reaching the final, I might just be considered for the Asian team but it will all depend on the SRAM, ” said Yiwen, who won the Under-19 Junior Asian Championships title in Macau last June.

The Asian meet will be a good tournament for the women’s team gearing up for the World Team championships, which Malaysia will also be hosting in Bukit Jalil from Dec 15-20.

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