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NST Online: Sports

Squash: Wee Wern eyes No 1 spot

Posted: 22 Apr 2011 04:55 PM PDT

K. Kandiah

Low Wee Wern will compete in next week’s Asian Individual Championship in Penang.

Low Wee Wern will compete in next week's Asian Individual Championship in Penang.

LOW Wee Wern's ultimate dream is to follow in the footsteps of squash queen Nicol David and become the World No 1.

Achieving that requires hard work and sacrifices, which Wee Wern is prepared to do.

The first step towards achieving that dream would be an all-Malaysian final in next week's Asian Individual Championship at the Nicol David International Squash Centre in Penang.

"It would definitely be a great achievement if it is an all-Malaysian final, more so since both of us are from Penang," said Wee Wern yesterday.

The Malaysian No 2, who is drawn to play Japan's Chinatsu Matsui in the opening round on Tuesday, said she had beaten the Japanese in their last three meetings but they were not easy wins.

The joint third seed said her real test would begin at the quarter-final stage, where she is expected to meet India's Joshna Chinappa on Thursday.

The last time the duo met, at the Asian Games, Wee Wern beat Joshna 3-2, but the Malaysian lost her three matches before that.

"It will be a tough quarter-final and I want to cross that first.

"After that, I have another tough match in the semi-finals against Annie Au and if I can cross that, it will be a dream final," she said.

Wee Wern said she had played second seed Annie several times with her only win coming in a junior event clash four years ago.

"That won't stop me from giving my best as I want the home fans to have an all-Malaysian final to celebrate," added the World No 13.

Though emulating Nicol is her long-term ambition, Wee Wern said she is aiming to break into the World top 10 by year-end and the top five within three years.

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Bowling: Women keglers told to buck up for World Championships

Posted: 22 Apr 2011 04:53 PM PDT

Ajitpal Singh

Zandra Aziela is among  the 11  bowlers under the elite programme.

Zandra Aziela is among the 11 bowlers under the elite programme.

NATIONAL coach Holloway Cheah has told the bowlers who are not in the women's elite programme to prove their worth over the next few months if they hope for a last minute inclusion for the World Championships in Hong Kong on Sept 2-11.

Cheah said the door is still open to them and that he was monitoring a few bowlers.

"Anyone who shows improvement or wins tournaments in the next couple of months would be considered for the world meet," said Cheah yesterday.

"It's every coach's dream to have more options and I hope to see some new talent soon."

The 11 women's bowlers under the elite programme are Wendy Chai, Esther Cheah, Sharon Koh, Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman, Zatil Iman Abdul Ghani, Jacqueline Jenelee Sijore, Sin Li Jane, Dayang Khairuniza Dhiyana, Siti Shazwani Ahmad Suhaimi and Hee Kar Yen.

Cheah, who will select only six bowlers for the world meet, confirmed he was also keeping an eye on former national bowler Lai Kin Ngoh.

Kin Ngoh proved her mettle last month by winning the ABF Tour's Tournament of Champions in Kuwait.

"I am happy that Kin Ngoh won but I will only consider her if she shows consistency in the next few tournaments.

"But then again, she must be ready to give up her commitments in Hong Kong to attend national training, if she is selected.

"However, she has to prove to me that she still has the desire to play at the highest level. She must win tournaments."

Kin Ngoh, 35, a bronze medallist in the 2005 World Championships in Denmark, was in the Doha Asian Games elite programme five years ago but opted out after she started competing in Hong Kong's bowling league.

On the current form of the newly promoted bowlers in the elite team, Cheah said they are showing good progress.

"They must be at their best if they hope to get selected for the world meet. As for now, they are still in the process of getting used to the elite training system."

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