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NST Online: Sports


Penang ready to welcome star players

Posted: 20 Apr 2011 10:25 AM PDT


Nicol David (left) and Low Wee Wern will spearhead Malaysia's challenge at the PBA-Nusmetro Asian Individual Squash Championships. The event starts on Tuesday.

Nicol David (left) and Low Wee Wern will spearhead Malaysia's challenge at the PBA-Nusmetro Asian Individual Squash Championships. The event starts on Tuesday.

PENANG is ready to host the inaugural PBA-Nusmetro Asian Individual Squash Championships 2011 at the Nicol David International Squash Centre in Bukit Dumbar near George Town starting on Tuesday.

The five-day championship is being organised by the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) and Squash Racquets Association of Penang (SRAP) and co-sponsored by the Penang Water Authority (PBA) and Nusmetro.

The championships is for the first time split into the Asian Individual Squash Championships and the Asian Team Squash Championships, which will be held on alternate years.


Squash fans from Penang will get the rare opportunity of seeing, without having to pay an entrance fee, world class players in action including World No 1 and world champion Nicol David, Low Wee Wern and Ong Beng Hee.

Nicol is the top seed in the women's category and will be defending her Asian title for the seventh consecutive time while gunning for her eighth title at the championships.

Low Wee Wern, who is from Penang, and Delia Arnold -- Malaysia's No 2 and 3 respectively -- are the third and fourth seeds, while Hong Kong's Annie Au is the second seed.


Wee Wern opens her campaign against Japan's Chinatsu Matsui while Delia takes on another Japanese Miwa Maekawa.

Nicol, who received a first-round bye, will play the winner of the match between Singapore's Jerryca Teo and Dulakshi Elikewela of Sri Lanka in the second round on Wednesday at 5.20pm.

In the men's challenge, Beng Hee, the Malaysian No 2 is the top seed in the absence of compatriot Azlan Iskandar -- the defending champion and Malaysia's No 1 -- and is drawn to meet Pakistan No 2 Farhan Mehboob in the final.


Beng Hee, who has also received a first-round bye and is gunning for his fifth Asian Championship title, will meet the winner of the clash between Japan's Yuta Fukui and Korea's Nyeon Ho Lee on Tuesday at 5pm.

Azlan has decided to skip the Asian Championships to concentrate on his professional career. He had also indicated that since he had won both the Asian titles last year -- the Asian Championship and the Asian Games -- he wanted to take a break.

Fifteen countries -- India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Iran, Iraq, Philippines, Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Malaysia -- have entered for the April 26-30 event.

The last time Penang hosted a major international squash event was in the Sea Games and World Junior Women's Championship where Nicol won back-to-back junior titles in 2001.

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Hosts target top three spot

Posted: 20 Apr 2011 08:41 AM PDT


(From left) RMPA vice-president Datuk Mohamed Moiz, Magnum Bhd general manager Seah Kok Leong, DRB-Hicom group managing director Datuk Seri Kamil Jamil, RMPA president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, Resorts World chairman Tun Haniff Omar, NP Lekless general manager Eugene Lee, Jaeger-LeCoultre marketing manager Samantha Foong, RMPA deputy president Tengku Seri Panglima Baderulzaman Sultan Mahmud, Berjaya Corp executive director Datuk Robin Tan and F&N Malaysia national corporate manager Datuk Kamal Harun at  the tournament draw yesterday.

(From left) RMPA vice-president Datuk Mohamed Moiz, Magnum Bhd general manager Seah Kok Leong, DRB-Hicom group managing director Datuk Seri Kamil Jamil, RMPA president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, Resorts World chairman Tun Haniff Omar, NP Lekless general manager Eugene Lee, Jaeger-LeCoultre marketing manager Samantha Foong, RMPA deputy president Tengku Seri Panglima Baderulzaman Sultan Mahmud, Berjaya Corp executive director Datuk Robin Tan and F&N Malaysia national corporate manager Datuk Kamal Harun at the tournament draw yesterday.

THE national polo team will make full use of homeground advantage to qualify for their first ever World Cup finals at the Federation of International Polo (FIP) World Cup 2011 Zone D qualifier to be held in Malaysia on June 14-25.

Malaysia have been placed in Zone One of the Asian-Australasian-African playoffs together with Australia and will look to achieve a top-three finish from the seven teams competing at the event to qualify for the World Cup Finals to be held in San Luis, Argentina in October this year.

The tournament, which was initially set to be an eight team event but is down to seven with the withdrawal of Singapore, will be conducted in a three-group round-robin format with the qualifiers proceeding to the semi-finals.


Despite the high level of competition expected, Royal Malaysian Polo Association (RMPA) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah remains upbeat of the country's chances of qualifying.

"It will definitely be tough when you have strong polo-playing countries like Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, India and Pakistan all competing," said Tengku Abdullah at the tournament draw yesterday.

"But as hosts we have several advantages which we should turn into our favour. I am optimistic we will make the trip to Argentina."


Tengku Abdullah said he is sure the players would strive to do their best given the massive opportunity at stake.

"I hope the players will realise the huge opportunity to qualify for the World Cup here and will work hard and make full use of the chance given to them," he said.

"The first game against New Zealand will be crucial to give us a good start but having said that, it does not mean we will take our second match (against India) lightly."


Malaysia are also strong contenders to host the 2014 FIP World Cup Finals and will look to make a good impression as hosts of this event.

The National Squad: Shaik Reismann, Huzaini Yunos, Amran Selamat, Muhammad Edham Shaharuddin, Saladin Mazlan, Tengku Ahmad Shahzril.

The draw -- Zone One: Australia, Malaysia; Zone Two: New Zealand, India; Zone Three: South Africa, Pakistan, Nigeria.

Group fixtures -- June 13: South Africa v Nigeria; June 14: Australia v India, New Zealand v Malaysia; June 15: Pakistan v Nigeria; June 17: Malaysia v India, Australia v New Zealand; June 18: South Africa v Pakistan.

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