It’s all in the head, Yiwen believes she can be on par with seniors

Not short on fitness: Chan Yiwen says she needs to improve her mental and technical game.

PETALING JAYA: National squash player Chan Yiwen believes she has what it takes to challenge top players like Rachel Arnold and Aifa Azman.

But first, she needs to find a way to overcome her mental barrier.

This year, the 21-year-old had qualified for the finals in the SRAM PSA 5 and SRAM PSA 6 but lost in both occasions to Aifa. In the recent SRAM PSA 7, she lost to Aifa again in the quarter-finals.

Yiwen said her fitness was not an issue but it was her mental and technical game, which she hoped to improve under coach Ajaz Amat before the Malaysian Open from Nov 23-27.

“After the 2019 SEA Games, I lost my father and then the pandemic struck, which certainly affected my training,” she said.

“I returned to training in August and did well in the last few tournaments before losing in the finals.

“I need to improve my mental game and try not to be too nervous. I’m working with Ajaz to improve some parts of my game and hope to bring these changes to the Malaysian Open.

“I want to improve my rankings as well. Previously, I used to beat Aifa and I believe with hard work, I can be a top player,” added Yiwen, who hopes to earn the right to compete in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games next year.

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