KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — The 2018 Malaysian Open Squash Championship is the best platform to measure the capabilities of the national squash players, especially the young line-up, before setting a medal target at the Asian Games in Indonesia, in August.
Racquet Squash Association of Malaysia (SRAM) president Nik Razeen Daud said the line-up for the one in every four years festival had been decided prior to this, and certainly their capabilities would be tested on the 2018 Malaysian Open stage with the presence of several fierce rivals like Hong Kong.
“Of course, this upcoming tournament will provide us with some benchmarks to evaluate our players, especially young players. Most of the players are also players who are making preparations for the Asian Games in Indonesia such as the players from Hong Kong, India and top players like Omneya Abdel Kawy from Egypt who has just recovered from injury.
“For me, this is the best stage for all squash players to make preparations and also an advantage to our players especially young players to use as their performance yardsticks before going to Indonesia in August,” he told reporters at a press conference at the 2018 Malaysian Open at the National Squash Centre, Kuala Lumpur Sports City in Bukit Jalil today.
He said the championship that would take place from July 17 to 22 also received entries from top Asian players, namely, Max Lee, Leo Au and Yip Tsz Fung from Hong Kong, followed by Qatar’s Abdulla Al Tamimi and other players including Lucas Serme (France), Chris Simpson (England) and Joel Makin (Wales).
According to Nik Razeen, the national squad would comprise male players such as the 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan, Ng Eain Yow and Ivan Yuen while S.Sivasangari would lead the women’s squad.
Meanwhile, SRAM coaching director Major ® S. Maniam said, despite the absence of players in the world’s top 10, the 2018 Malaysian Open had its own prestige as it would be the focus of Asian players to test their performances before facing the Asian Games in Indonesia.
He said, besides being a test platform, it was also a tournament for players who were in moderate rankings to showcase their talents as well as the stage to test fitness for players like Omneya and Low Wee Wern to return to their best performances after a long break due to injury.
“We organise mid-range events so players can join and to find new talent, our back-up players cannot participate in big competitions because they do not have the ranking. It is an advantage, as all our young players can play in the tournament this time
“The 2018 Malaysian Open is still able to attract renowned players such as Omneya, whose presence on the courts is always looked forward to for their skills and agility in the game. Omneya and Wee Wern are recovering from injuries and we expect something from the players when they go into action,” he said. — Bernama