KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 – Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin believes squash queen Datuk Nicol David will not face a major hurdle or pressure at the World Squash Championship, hosted by Malaysia. The World Championship to be held at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil from April 24 to 30, is expected to feature 56 players from 19 countries.
Apart from Nicol, Malaysia will be represented by Delia Arnold and wild card entry Low Wee Wern, the former world number five. Khairy said he was confident that Nicol, Delia and Wee Wern would be able to produce good performances in the championship.
“Let’s give our undivided support to Nicol and the rest of the players and not put them under pressure. We always hope for the best from the Malaysian players and we do not feel the need to put extra pressure on them…,” he told reporters when announcing the championship, here yesterday.
Malaysia who hosted the prestigious World Championship in 2004 and 2013, offered a Citroen DS4 car and total prize money of US$185,000 (RM743,061). Former National squash player Mohamad Azlan Iskandar who is the chief executive officer of Sportspin Event & Athlete Management, the organiser of the championship said hosting the tournament would offer a major development for squash in the country.
Meanwhile, Wee Wern who has been drawn to meet New Zealand’s Joelle King said she was confident of a good performance when playing at home. Wee Wern, who just returned after a long layoff due to a knee injury, said it is a blessing to be playing on own soil, the feel is different… even though the draw will be very tough, you have great support all around and I strive to do my best. Nicol is scheduled to face Australia’s veteran player Rachael Grinham in the first round of the main draw.