Chewing on lower seeding

PETALING JAYA: There is no Malaysian in the top four seeding in the squash events of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games but national head coach Ajaz Azmat feels that women’s pair Rachel Arnold-Aifa Azman should be ranked higher.

Rachel-Aifa are only ranked sixth where the top four seeds are world doubles winners Dipika Pallikal-Joshna Chinappa of India, Alison Waters-Sarah Jane Perry of England, Joelle King-Amanda Landers Murphy of New Zealand and Australians Rachael Grinham-Donna Lobban.

Rachel secured bronze with S. Sivasangari in the World Doubles in Glasgow earlier this year but the latter was forced to miss the Games due to an accident.

Ajaz said that Rachel and Aifa’s world ranking has also improved and this should be taken into consideration by the seeding committee of the Commonwealth Games. Rachel is ranked 34th while Aifa is at No. 24.

Seedings are crucial at the all five events will be using the knockout system.

“It is important to have a top four seeding as we can avoid strong pairs in the early rounds. Rachel-Aifa should at least be seeded in the top four as this will enhance their chances of fighting for a medal,” said Ajaz.

“Their world ranking has improved and this should be considered by the seedings committee.

“We (Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia) need to make a request for them to revise the seedings.”

Ajaz felt that Ainaa Amani Ampandi-Chan Yiwen should also be seeded higher than the eighth position as they can avoid playing the top two seeds at the quarter-final stage.

Ajaz is also keeping his fingers crossed as the request to revise the men’s doubles seedings where Ng Eain Yow-Ivan Yuen, currently sixth, could see them at least moving into fifth.

Syafiq Kamal-Ong Sai Hung are not expected to see their seeding of ninth to change while mixed doubles pair Addeen Idrakie-Ainaa are also not expected to improve as both combinations are seeing action together for the first time.

In the men’s individual, Eain Yow is seeded fifth, Ivan is 12th while Syafiq is at No 15. Aifa is seeded ninth in the women’s individual followed by Rachel at No. 11 and Yiwen is 15th.

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