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The Star Online: Sports

SRAM: Wee Nee not picked due to limited NSC funding

Posted: 23 Dec 2010 05:25 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Low Wee Nee was not selected to play in the British Open junior squash championships next month because of limited funding from the National Sports Council (NSC).

The Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) general manager and secretary, Christopher Brodie, said that NSC only provided funds for five players.

"We (SRAM) also decided not to send Wee Nee for the British Open because we don't expect her to reach top four in the girls' Under-19 competition," he said.

"We also did not select any player from the Under-17 and Under-19 categories as none of them is capable of reaching the semi-finals."

Wee Nee, the country's top junior player, had voiced her disappointment with the SRAM for not selecting her for the championships.

And the Penangite, who had competed in the Open since 2004, is contemplating to quit the sport to concentrate in her studies.

Christopher added that the SRAM had plans for Wee Nee to be promoted from back-up to elite squad next year to support world No. 1 Nicol David, Low Wee Wern, Delia Arnold and Siti Munirah.

"However, we have been told that she has accepted an offer of a squash scholarship in the United States. Regardless, a place in the elite squad remains available to her, should she change her mind," he said.

Meanwhile, Christopher said that 15 players, comprising eight boys and seven girls, would feature in the British Open junior championships.

The five going under NSC funding are Mohd Farez Izwan (boys' Under-13), Zoe Foo and Andrea Lee (girls' Under-13) and Rachel Arnold and Jadeleen Lee (girls' Under-15).

Two players will be funded by CIMB by virtue winning the Hong Kong Junior Open titles in the Under-13 categories. They are Ng Eain Yow and S. Sivasangari.

"The rest of the players are either funded by their parents or their respective states," said Christopher.

They are Ong Sai Hun (boys' Under-13), Mohd Shafiq Mohd Kamal, Al Nikc Ally, Vincent Tan Kean Yew and S. Puvendran (boys' Under-15), Britney Tan Kerr Wen (girls' Under-13), Rachael Mae and Nazihah Hanis (girls' Under-15).

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Schuey does not regret returning to F1 despite poor show

Posted: 23 Dec 2010 05:24 PM PST

BERLIN: Michael Schumacher insisted on Wednesday he did not regret returning to Formula One despite a disappointing 2010, finishing ninth for Mercedes behind fellow German Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' title race.

The seven-time former world champion admitted in an interview published on his official website that the season had been "a big challenge" and that in terms of results, "we clearly did not meet our expectations".

The German 41-year-old continued: "But then, you have to fight for the things you want to achieve, which has always been my motto. Mercedes, the whole team, me – we are working together to build something great.

"Not being an easy process makes the challenge more exciting. None of us is the type of guy to just give up when faced with setbacks. It is the opposite, this makes us even more determined.

"I think I have proved over many years that I love challenges and that I am able to handle them. I have not regretted my decision to come back at all."

Schumacher mustered 72 points, almost half the tally attained by his younger compatriot and team–mate Nico Rosberg, and was the target of some criticism, which he said he was taking in good spirits.

"That is okay for me, and I haven't looked good all the time either.

"I can live with criticism very well, you just have to differentiate it and it can bring you forward as well.

"What is much more important is that I deeply enjoy building what we are building here at this team and that is always the best base for success because you do not need to question the motivation.

"And please don't get me wrong here; you don't question the seriousness either. I can't wait already to get the new season started."

Despite his advanced years, the motor racing legend said he was itching for the 2011 season to start.

"Yes, I look forward to some quiet days with my family over Christmas but I also notice that I am going all tingly already thinking about next year.

"We ended the season with a positive feeling and things were starting to come together with a tendency that was clearly positive.

"And from a physical point of view, the year wasn't very demanding for me.

"So, knowing our developments for the new year makes me confident that we can fight for some race victories from our own power. This is a prospect which makes me look forward to competing again.

Despite his modest showing on his comeback, he stated winning the F1 title was still Mercedes' objective.

"Fighting for the world championship is still our goal, it can only be like this.

"Hey, we are Mercedes! But this is a three-year project, and even if obviously it would be nicer if it worked out sooner, we are talking about competing at the absolute peak of motorsport.

"You cannot just come along, put a new team together and beat everybody.

"But you can be sure that we are working very hard with all our combined power to achieve our aims." – AFP

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