SRAM hope Rachel will step up in Birmingham

PUTRAJAYA: It is time for Rachel Arnold to step up to the plate.

With S. Sivasangari out of next month’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the mandate has been given to Rachel to deliver, said Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) president Gerard Monteiro.

The 23-year-old Sivasangari was involved in a car crash in the wee hours of Sunday, suffering injuries to her head and spine.

Gerard, who was at the Putrajaya Hospital to meet Sivasangari and her family, said it was a shocking incident as she was one of the gold medal prospects for the singles and doubles events.

All her teammates also came to the hospital to visit her.

“We are all shocked. I mean, we are all lost for words because she is our top player and someone we have been close with for quite a while. The doctors did say that she could recover in three months, which is good,” said Gerard, who is also the deputy chef de mission for the Commonwealth Games.

“The doctors will monitor her condition thoroughly, so we wish her a speedy recovery.”

Now that Sivasangari is out, Gerard revealed that the target would have to be revised but was hopeful that Rachel, the world No. 37, would give her best in Birmingham from July 28-Aug 8.

“I hope Rachel will step up. She will partner Aifa Azman in the doubles and Ng Eain Yow in the mixed doubles. We hope she can do well in the singles too. As for the player replacing Sangari, the coaches will discuss first. Whoever replaces her will surely have a good experience in Birmingham.”

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