Friday, May 16, 2014

Nicol in double assault in Glasgow

NICOL David is aiming for a Commonwealth Games double after partnering Low Wee Wern to form a formidable pairing for the women’s doubles in Glasgow.

The World No 1 will also be defending her individual title and Nicol’s chances of winning a second gold medal at a single edition was boosted by dropping the mixed doubles event in which she had won silver and bronze previously with Ong Beng Hee.

Three women’s squash players have won two gold medals in a single edition before and Nicol’s chances of joining that list looks good despite the presence of five other players from the world’s top-10 at the July 23-Aug 3 Games..

“We feel that the combination between Nicol and Wee Wern stands a better chance of winning a medal,” said Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia honorary secretary Christopher Brodie yesterday.

“They are a better prospect as Nicol and Wee Wern get on quite well. Nicol won’t play the mixed doubles as we don’t want one player in too many events.”

Wee Wern’s chances of winning her first Commonwealth Games medal are also bright as she is likely to be seeded fourth for the individual event.

But it is in the doubles where Wee Wern stands a better shot at gold where her partnership with Nicol will see the pair seeded either first or second, depending on which combination England field.

Besides Nicol, world champion Laura Massaro and Alison Waters are the two players ranked higher than Wee Wern, while Northern Ireland’s Madeline Perry and India’s Dippika Pallikal are the other Commonwealth players ranked in the top-10.

In a nod to the future, SRAM has also listed national juniors Vanessa Raj and Rachael Arnold for the doubles events.
Rachael and Vanessa will pair up for the women’s doubles while the former is also down for the mixed doubles with Valentino Bong.

Beng Hee and Ivan Yuen will play in the men’s doubles while national No 1 Nafiizwan Adnan and Delia Arnold will form the other mixed doubles pair.

l LOW Wee Wern will face third seed Raneem El Weleily of Egypt in the British Open quarter-finals in Hull today after squeezing past England’s Emma Beddoes in the second round.

World No 8 Wee Wern let slip a two-game lead and had to rally from 5-9 down to oust Emma, who upset World Championship runner-up Nour El Sherbini in the first round, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 6-11, 11-9 on Wednesday.

“She played very well, all credit to her, she was very sharp and hardly made any errors. I had to dig deep and make each and every rally count,” said seventh seed Wee Wern.

Wee Wern is 1-9 against Raneem, who defeated Australian Kasey Brown 11-5, 11-6, 11-3, and is seeking to reach the semi-finals of the British Open for the first time.

World champion Laura Massaro reached the last eight with a 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 win over Hong Kong’s Annie Au while top seed Nicol David faced England’s Sarah-Jane Perry in a second round match late yesterday. By Devinder Singh

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