Nicol David Advocates for More Malaysian Women in Top 15 Squash Rankings
BY: Michelle Liew
Malaysian squash legend Datuk Nicol David, an eight-time world champion and former world number one, has expressed her desire to see more national female players rise through the ranks and secure positions within the top 15 of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Rankings. Nicol's hopes are fueled by the recent success of S. Sivasangari, and she believes that the existing talent pool, including players like Rachel Arnold and Aifa Azman, has the potential to elevate Malaysia's presence in international squash.
The Rise of S. Sivasangari:
Nicol David commended the recent achievements of S. Sivasangari, the reigning champion of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, who climbed two places to the 15th position in the PSA World Rankings as of November 27. Sivasangari's ascent is particularly noteworthy considering her comeback from an eight-month hiatus following an unfortunate accident. Nicol views Sivasangari's success as a source of inspiration for other female athletes, highlighting the resilience and determination needed to overcome challenges in the competitive world of squash.
Competitive Spirit Among Malaysian Female Players:
Nicol David emphasized the healthy competition among Malaysia's female squash players, acknowledging the prowess of Rachel Arnold and Aifa Azman. She pointed out that the competitive spirit among these athletes motivates each other to strive for the top spots in the national rankings. Nicol believes that fostering this internal competition will ultimately contribute to the elevation of Malaysia's standing on the global squash stage.
Consistency and Exposure to Top Players:
In her guidance to the national players, Nicol stressed the importance of consistency and regular exposure to higher-ranked opponents. Encouraging participation in tournaments with top 15 players, Nicol believes that facing formidable opponents frequently will enhance the Malaysian players' skills, confidence, and ability to consistently challenge and surpass higher-ranked players.
Corporate Support and Foundation:
Nicol David's journey in squash was propelled by a personal donation from corporate figure Tan Sri Mohamad Salim Fateh Din to her foundation, Pertubuhan Nicol David (NDO). This support highlights the significance of corporate backing in the development of Malaysian squash talent. Nicol expresses gratitude for the support she received and encourages continued collaboration between the corporate sector and sports foundations to nurture emerging talents.
As Nicol David continues to be an influential figure in Malaysian squash, her advocacy for more female players to break into the top 15 of the PSA World Rankings reflects a commitment to the growth and success of the sport in Malaysia. With the talent and competitive spirit evident in players like S. Sivasangari, Rachel Arnold, and Aifa Azman, the future of Malaysian women's squash appears promising, and Nicol's vision of a stronger presence on the international stage may soon become a reality.