PETALING JAYA: Former national No. 1 Ong Beng Hee (pic) believes he can take American squash to greater heights.
The former world junior squash champion has been appointed as the new national head coach of US Squash.
Beng Hee will oversee the entire US squash programme from the junior to the elite level, with emphasis on the country’s three top-20 ranked women players Amanda Sobhy, Olivia Clyne and Sabrina Sobhy.
Beng Hee was most recently the head coach for Qatar Squash. He replaces former US head coach Paul Assaiante and will work at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia.
“The Specter Center creates a perfect environment for both the players and coaches as it is the best squash facility in the world. All of the US players are self-driven and motivated to achieve success at the highest level.
“I have come here to share my experience with them but at the same time learn and grow together.
“It’s very important that I am constantly learning about our players’ games and the modern game itself. We will do our best. I don’t see why we can’t challenge Egypt, the world No. 1, and I feel that we are not far away,” said Beng Hee in a statement on the US Squash website.
The 41-year-old added he was extremely proud and humbled to be given the opportunity to head the US national programme.
“This is my biggest achievement as a coach and to be leading the programme supported by the amazing facilities at the Specter Center is a dream come true for any coach in the world.
“I am grateful to the Ganek family (major sponsor), US Squash and Paul Assaiante.
“I have known coach Assaiante for years and look forward to continuing to work with him to help build a bigger and better programme,” said Beng Hee, who is still the highest ranked Malaysian men’s player ever, reaching seventh in the world before retiring in 2015.
He was the first world junior champion in 1998 and has gone on to represent Malaysia at all levels.
He took up the technical director’s job in Qatar in 2016 and was in charge of talent identification as well as organising tournaments from junior to national levels.